In 2008 the US House of Representatives proclaimed July to be Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. It began with Bebe Moore Campbell and her passion to bring awareness to the needs of Mental Health treatment for minorities. Since then several organizations have created campaigns to help educate and support minority communities ie NAMI, OMH, Mental Health American and NNED. There are 1 in 5 people who experience Mental Health symptoms and 56% don't receive treatment. African American are 20% more likely to experience mental health issues.
Mental Health does not discriminate. So many people experience mental health symptoms and suffer in silence. I want to help those individuals to understand that they have options for overcoming and managing their symptoms. I believe it starts with awareness via discussions about challenges. Simple discussions about mental health can help individuals feel confident enough to ask for help.
Last year I held a free Minority Mental Health Awareness Month event, which had a great turn out. So this year I set out to host 4 events to reach even more individuals in the community. The events were interactive, family-friendly and educational. I plan to continue to host events during the month of July to break the stigma, educate, and connect with individuals in my community.
We all play a part in the stigma regarding mental health. What is your part?