Celebrating Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

In 2008, Congress passed a resolution that established the month of July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This month highlights the following aims:

  • To improve access to mental health treatment and services.
  • To address the need for improved access to care, treatment, and services for those diagnosed with severe and persistent mental health disorders.
  • To enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities.

 

Bebe Moore

Moore Campbell (1950-2006) was a New York Times bestselling author and a strong advocate for mental health. Her tireless efforts to bring public awareness to minority mental health stemmed from her personal experiences with a family member. She recognized the unique challenges minorities face in addressing stigma and in accessing needed care and treatments. She was one of the founding members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Urban Los Angeles. Established by African-American women supporting each another through seemingly insurmountable circumstances, this NAMI affiliate was one of the first created with a primary mission of addressing the needs of communities of color – communities that are all too often overlooked and underserved.

Two of Moore Campbell’s published works, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, a children’s book, and 72 Hour Hold, a novel, tackle the emotions and experiences of relating to and coping with bipolar disorder. In her interviews, she described mental illness as a form of slavery and once said: “We won’t always have to hide and run and do our work in the dark. The day is coming when people with brain diseases won’t be written off or warehoused, when everyone will know that recovery is possible.”

July offers us an opportunity to shed light on mental illness among racial and ethnic minorities. The disparities that persist for these groups are well-established. Storytelling is a vital component to eliminating disparities and improving the lives of those who have been disenfranchised by social factors.

Source: https://www.psychiatry.org/News-room/APA-Blogs/recognizing-bebe-moore-campbell-national-minority

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