Every July, BIPOC mental health awareness (also known as minority mental health awareness) month is observed. It is a time in which special consideration and reflection is given regarding historically underrepresented groups. It was founded in 2008 in honor of Bebe Moore Campbell, author, advocate and founder of NAMI Los Angeles. Through her advocacy, we observe Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month, or what many now call National BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month.
Many may wonder why it is important to highlight BIPOC mental health issues. We are aware that any person can experience mental health concerns and illnesses; but minority groups have a higher likelihood of experiencing risk factors that contribute to mental health disorders. Some of these risk factors and various special considerations are systemic racism, racial trauma, underrepresentation of providers, immigrant issues and cultural stigmas.
4 Ways to Show Support and Be an Ally to the BIPOC Community
1. Post support for the cause on social media, and encourage others to repost and share your message.
2. Volunteer or donate to an agency/nonprofit that highlights helping those in the BIPOC community who are dealing with mental health concerns.
3. Research and learn about some of the issues facing the BIPOC community.
4. Look on NAMI’s website (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to reach out to policymakers to advance priority issues that impact the voice of people affected by mental illness.
These are just a few of the ways we can show support and fight back in the stigma of seeking mental health help–during BIPOC Mental Health Month and the whole year through!