"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
July marks the beginning of National Minority Health Awareness Month. In May 2008, legislation officially signed and it was named after author Bebe Moore-Campbell. Bebe advocated for mental health education and fought to end stigma. The purpose of the month was to achieve two goals. One was to improve mental health treatment and services for minorities. The other was to name the month after Bebe Moore Campbell while enhancing public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities. It became an opportunity to raise awareness and stop the stigma in minority communities, as mental health conditions do not discriminate.
Mental illness can affect everyone. It has no race, shape or culture; it does not discriminate. The issues that we do face comes within the communities in which we live. Communities that are at-risk face challenges when trying to receive quality care and support services. There's often poorer quality care, higher levels of stigmas, language barriers and they are less likely to receive care. Many people do not realize that having a mental illness and being treated for it is like living in the lap of luxury; if you can't afford it, you cannot be treated for it. Generally, most people think of mental illness as something that will pass and they do what most people do about it, nothing.
To date, many people are still suffering in silence, due to the lack or results or a no health insurance. America's mental health system has many flaws and has many areas that need improvement. Learn more about how you can become involved with the National Minority Health Awareness Month.