Mental health refers to the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of a person, it determines how we think, feels, and act towards dynamics of life that emerge from our culture, race, gender, and sexual orientation.
July is the national minority mental health awareness month which is aimed at bringing awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness.
This year’s theme is “Back to Basics” intending to restore a stable mental state among the minority groups after the covid-19 caused a troll to many and limited the accessibility to seek counseling and advice from experts.
July was made the National Minority Mental Health Awareness month to honor Bebe Moore Campbell, a leading African American author. She was a champion for mental health education and support among individuals of diverse communities.
Campbell co-founded National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Urban Los Angeles and received NAMI’s 2003 Outstanding Media Award for Literature. She died in 2006 and to honor her legacy, in 2008, the United States House of Representatives announced July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
The minority groups often suffer from poor mental health outcomes due to multiple factors such as inaccessibility to high-quality mental healthcare services, the cultural stigma surrounding mental health care, discrimination, and overall lack of awareness about mental health.
The Office of the Minority Health (OMH) encourages state, tribal and local leaders, community-based organizations, faith leaders, healthcare providers, and individuals to educate their communities on mental health stigma.
BY JOY WAMBUI