July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

by Monique Ruffin

· Mental Illness,Bebe Moore Campbell,Mental Health

Bebe Moore Campbell was a leading African American journalist, novelist, and a national spokesperson for individuals and families affected by mental illness. Campbell was also one of the founding members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Urban Los Angeles Chapter. After her death in 2006, friends, family, and advocates who where inspired by the her work and passion led the charge to create an official minority mental health awareness month. In May 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives proclaimed July as "Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month."

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Mental health is not a respecter of race, gender, class, culture, ethnicity or sexual orientation. According to research done by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults in the U.S. will experience mental illness. This does not include teens, whose rates of mental health challenges mirror those of adults. Although mental illness is extraordinarily prevalent for children and adults, not even 50% of those suffering from mental illness seek treatment. The percentages of those seeking treatment decreases in minority communities for various reasons which include but are not limited to:

  • Limited access to treatment

  • Poorer quality of care

  • Higher levels of stigma

  • Language barriers

  • Less likely to receive treatment

These disparities in mental health care often times prevent people from getting the care and treatment that they need. Raising awareness can help to create a more efficient and healthy communities where those who need help receive it. During the month of July, NAMI Urban Los Angeles will be hosting the following event in of honor Bebe Moore Campbell and National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

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If you or someone you know is in need of mental health services, here are a few resources that can help get you on the road to recovery:


NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
The nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH)
The largest county-operated mental health department in the United States whose mission is to enrich lives through partnership to strengthen the community’s capacity to support recovery and resiliency.

Painted Brain
Uses media and the arts to bridge community barriers and change the discussion about mental illness.

Mental Health Yes!

A platform used to raise mental health awareness, eradicate stigma, provide resources, and promote hope, wellness, & recovery. There are over 100 resources listed on their "Resources" page!

Crisis Support

Crisis Text Line
Text HELLO to 741741
A free, confidential, 24/7 support line for those in crisis in the U.S. Within minutes, a live trained crisis counselor will answer your text. It’s been instrumental in helping millions of people especially teens.

7 Cups Of Tea
An online emotional support service that connects those in need to a trained Active Listener by phone or chat. All connections are private and one-on-one.

Youth Services

Black Girls Smile Inc.
A nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging positive mental health education, resources, and support geared toward young African American females.

Urban Beats
An innovative artistic expression program whose mission is to empower Transition Age Youth (TAY) through the arts and social media.