“Once my loved ones accepted the diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years. Can’t we, as a nation, begin to speed up that process? We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans…It’s not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.” – Bebe Moore Campbell

In honor of July being National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important that we all make advances to enhance the knowledge and establish an appreciation of minority mental health matters.

Mental health disorders are not distinguished on the basis of race, color, gender, or identity. Everybody can acquire and encounter the challenges of having a mental illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), roughly one in five adults in the U.S. will suffer from a mental illness in a given year.

Although mental illness is a widespread health disorder, only 41% of adults in the U.S. receive treatment. In minority and low-income communities, there is a severe need for treatment. For instance, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population, according to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.

Many elements influence this decision, such as lack of knowledge of treatments, cultural stigma, language barriers, representation, and historically-rooted cultural mistrust of the American healthcare system.

In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives designated the month of July Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Campbell was an author, advocate, and national spokesperson for those affected by mental illness. The two main goals of the month are to improve access to treatment and enhance public awareness of mental illness among minorities.

For more information, please visit – https://nned.net/nmmham