Minority Mental Health Awareness Month – July 2019 NAMI Atlanta/Auburn
ABOUT NATIONAL MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH:
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was founded in 2008 to help raise awareness about mental illness and its effects on racial and ethnic minority populations. The US House of Representatives designated July of each year as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn [D-MD] and cosponsored by a large bipartisan group to achieve two goals:
- Improve access to mental health treatment and services and promote public awareness of mental illness.
- Name a month as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities.
“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, 2005
MENTAL HEALTH DISPARITIES:
Despite advances in health equity, disparities in mental health care persist. The National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month held in July of each year aims to change this dynamic to better address the struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the United States.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care. Poor mental health care access and quality contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide, among racial and ethnic minority populations.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
- Over 70% of Black/African American adolescents with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment for their condition.
- Almost 25% of adolescents with a major depressive episode in the last year were Hispanic/Latino.
- Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups.
- In the past year, nearly 1 in 10 American Indian or Alaska Native young adults had serious thoughts of suicide.
- In the past year, 1 in 7 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults had a diagnosable mental illness.
NAMI Atlanta/Auburn in Atlanta, along with NAMI and other NAMI affiliates throughout the U.S., works to educate our communities about the importance of improving access to mental health care and treatment and to help break down other barriers such as negative perceptions about mental illness.
Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions, health coverage and the stigma of mental illness requires all of us. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care.
Help us spread the word through the many awareness, support and advocacy activities. Share minority mental health awareness information, #MinorityMentalHealth throughout July and all year long.
NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI):