We join NAMI and other mental health organizations each year in marking Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Month. Together we raise awareness of the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States and share resources for those from diverse and historically underserved communities.
About Bebe Moore Campbell
Bebe Moore Campbell was an author, advocate, co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles, and national spokesperson who worked tirelessly to advocate for mental health education and eliminate stigma among diverse communities, until she passed away in 2006. In 2005, inspired by Campbell’s charge to end stigma and provide mental health information, longtime friend Linda Wharton-Boyd suggested dedicating a month to the effort. The duo got to work, outlining the concept of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and what it would entail. After Campbell’s passing, Wharton-Boyd, friends, family and allied advocates reignited their cause. In 2008, July was designated as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by the U.S. House of Representatives. There have been recent attempts to change the month’s name, but NAMI continues to recognize the importance of honoring Bebe Moore Campbell’s incredible legacy and groundbreaking work.
“Once my loved ones accepted the diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years… It’s not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible,” said Bebe Moore Campbell when she was advocating to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities.
Observing Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Month
People from diverse/minority communities (racial/ethnic, gender) often face unique mental health challenges as a result of inaccessibility of mental health care services, cultural stigma surrounding mental health, and discrimination. Together, we can raise more mental health awareness in underrepresented populations so that those impacted by mental health conditions can get the care and support they need to overcome obstacles and live healthy, fulfilling lives in a community that cares.
Here’s how you can honor Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Month:
- Join NAMI for an online event: The 2023 Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Virtual “Erase the Stigma, Not her Name” Symposium on July 6 at 11:30 am PT.
- Check out NAMI’s Sharing Hope: Mental Wellness in the Black Community resources and information, and their Strength Over Silence docuseries focused on stories of courage, culture and community.
- Learn about the mental health impacts and resources for Black/African-American Communities; Asian American and Pacific Island Communities; LGBTQI Communities; Latinx Communities. Learn more from the Department of Health and Human Services, which encourages state, tribal, and local leaders, community-based organizations, faith leaders, healthcare providers and individuals to educate their communities regarding mental health stigma.
- Share your perspectives! If you identify as being from a racial or ethnic minority group, have you faced cultural stigma from your community or been unable to access mental health care services? Answer here. (More time? Answer more Community Voices questions.)