July is observed to bring awareness to underrepresented groups and communities in regards of mental illness in the United States. Across the country many mental health organizations shed light on the unique struggles that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) has face due to the lack of equality within their communities. In May of 2008 the U.S House of Representatives announce July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
Bebe Moore Campbell
Bebe Moore Campbell born February 18, 1950 - November 27, 2006 was a an American author, journalist, and teacher. She was an advocate and co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles and national spokesperson. Bebe Moore Campbell worked endlessly to raise awareness to the mental health issues faced within black and indigenous communities as well as other underrepresented groups.
Bebe Moore Campbell inspired others on her stance against mental health struggles with minorities, this included her friend Linda Wharton-Boyd. Campbell and Wharton-Boyd devoted their time to express the importance of mental health. They worked to provide the resources, support, and education needed to overcome barriers that prevented BIPOC from exceeding in society.
Not long after Campbell became ill the efforts had to come to a halt. When Bebe Moore Campbell lost her fight to cancer, Wharton-Boyd and many others continued to spread awareness. Then gained support from two Representatives Albert Wynn and Diane Watson who eventually co-sign legislation to make an official minority mental health awareness month.
The following states the percentages of communities affected by Mental Illness:
17% of Black/African Americans
15% of Latinx/Hispanic Americans
13% of Asian Americans
23% of Native Americans/Alaskan Natives
25% of Multiracial
37% of LGBTQ+
The Following states the figures of communities affected by Mental Illness:
6.8 million of Black/African Americans
8.9 million of Latinx/Hispanic Americans
2.2 million of Asian Americans
830,000 of Native/Alaskan Natives
3.9 million of LGBTQ+
During Covid-19 these percentages and numbers have risen. It also made it difficult for BIPOC to gain access for mental illness services and treatments. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health suggest that states, tribal, and office leaders, community-based organizations, faith leaders, and health providers educate their communities on the stigma of mental illness. By doing our part in educating individuals about the severity of these issues, we can potentially lower the statistics and help those in our community reach the proper services and treatments. For more information on services and resources please visit: