By: Rayell Grayson 

In 2008, the US House of Representatives announced that the month of July would be recognized as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, also referred to as BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month. This was an effort to improve access to MH  services, promote public awareness of mental health, and reduce the stigma that remains in minority and underserved communities. 

It has been said time and time again – mental health conditions and complications do not discriminate based on ethnic background, gender identity, SES, and/or ‘fill in the blank’. It’s true, anyone can experience mental health challenges and stressors regardless of their background. However, many BIPOC people across the globe struggle to obtain access to quality mental health services and treatment. Every year we witness millions of people being unable to receive the care they need because of their insurance health coverage limitations (or lack thereof), cultural stigma, poverty, less access to quality care in certain communities, language differences, the color of their skin, and many additional barriers. 

Did you know?

  • 1 and 5 people experience a mental health condition (46.6 million US adults per year).
  • Depression rates in black youths is 30% more than average. 
  • In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for blacks or African Americans, ages 15 to 24.
  • LGBTQ individuals are more than twice as likely as heterosexual men and women to have a mental health disorder in their lifetime.
  • According to Mental Health America, The proportion of people reporting frequent thoughts of suicide or self-harm was highest among Native American or American Indian screeners in 2020 (46%).
  • Approximately 1 in 10 Hispanic Americans with a mental health disorder use mental health services from a general health care provider, while only 1 in 20 receive these services from a mental health specialist.

Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions requires all of us! This month we’d like to inspire you all to share information and resources, read blogs, watch videos, check out some of the information listed below, and raise awareness to support mental health in BIPOC communities. 

Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health

Mental Health America  

NAMI – Strength Over Silence 

AFSP – Suicide Prevention Resouces for BIPOC communities

Mental Health Resources