July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and we wanted to touch on some of the history behind the importance of this month, as well as list three things you can do to advocate for minority mental health care.
History and Purpose
Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was formally recognized in 2008 as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to bring awareness to underrepresented groups that face unique hardships in regard to mental health in the U.S.
“Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities”
BIPOC Mental Health Month. This month is important in recognizing the unique mental health struggles minorities in our community face so that we may advocate for minority mental health effectively and efficiently.
How to Advocate for Minority Mental Health
Talk with community leaders
Reach out to leaders in your community to join in support of Minority Mental Health Month recognition in order to bring awareness to the minorities in your community struggling with mental health challenges.
Addressing cultural barriers is a big part of understanding the mental health care needs for different groups of minorities. Cultural stigma, lack of cultural competency, and limited access to affordable or localized treatment are big factors in the lack of mental health resources available for minorities National Alliance on Mental Illness. Starting a conversation with these communities can help you empathize with them on another level, as well as help you understand the niche needs of minorities struggling with mental health issues.
Involve your faith community
Faith communities can play an integral role in helping those who are struggling with their mental health. Talking to your faith leaders about implementing mental health resources in the church is a great way to serve minorities in your community. Here at the Hope and Healing Center, we provide mental health training to faith communities, schools, and work places through our Gateway to Hope program. To find out more about our mental health coaching services visit www.mentalhealthgateway.org