Recognizing Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, also known as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month. Bebe Moore Campbell was a mental health advocate, journalist and author. She founded the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter in Inglewood, California (now NAMI Urban LA), where she helped create a safe environment for Black individuals to discuss their mental health.

In 2008, two years after Moore Campbell’s death, July was designated as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by the U.S. House of Representatives. There were three goals associated with the designation: improve access to mental health treatment, increase public awareness on mental health issues and name the month after Bebe Moore Campbell to expand the public’s awareness of these issues in BIPOC communities.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), less than one in every two Black adults receive mental health care. There are a variety of reasons as to why BIPOC communities experience barriers to accessing mental health care services. These reasons include: fear of discrimination, cultural stigma, cost concerns, lack of cultural competence among providers and lack of representation among providers.

The American Psychological Association reported that in 2021 only 5% of psychologists in the U.S. workforce were Black. This lack of representation makes it difficult for individuals in the BIPOC community to relate to providers, and providers may not fully understand how systematic racism impacts BIPOC mental health and well-being.

The Steinberg Institute is committed to improving access to care in California, particularly for BIPOC communities. Our Vision 2030 initiative prioritizes increasing the diversity of our state’s behavioral health workforce. Our new research in this focus area will dive deep into the root causes of these issues and recommend strategies to build and sustain a workforce that reflects and supports California’s diverse population.

If you are a BIPOC individual seeking mental health support or a member of an organization interested in increasing awareness during Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, the Mental Health Coalition has compiled a list of resources here.

More information:
https://www.mhanational.org/bipoc/mental-health-month 
https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/mental-health-and-mental-disorders 
https://www.jcmh.org/mental-illness-doesnt-discriminate-so-why-do-bipoc-communities-have-difficulty-accessing-care/#:~:text=Limited%20Access%20to%20Quality%20Care&text=According%20to%20the%20American%20Psychiatric,like%20hopelessness%20than%20White%20Americans 
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt42731/2022-nsduh-race-eth-highlights.pdf 
https://www.apa.org/workforce/data-tools/demographics 

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