July is BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month! Strength in Communities is the theme for 2021, a focal point to be continued even after this month ends. This theme highlights those persons that are marginalized within their intersectionality of being a person of color and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. The more identities one identifies with, the likelier it is they experience a hardship related to discrimination, racism and xenophobia.
Author Bebe Moore Campbell was a mental health advocate that through her personal experiences and writing the book, 72 Hour Hold, brought attention to the disparities experiences by those who are not white as it relates to their mental wellness. She advocated for services, recognition, and empowerment of those suffering with mental illness, as well as for their family members, especially those in a caregiving role. In 2007, July was declared Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by U.S. Congress.
Terminology often changes in order to align with collective values and knowledge gained to minimize alienating others. The terms used to describe individuals and groups that are non-white are changing because previous terms incidentally failed to realize individuals, and that whole racial groups are not a monolith. A good rule of thumb is to ask who you are conversing with how they would like to be identified to avoid offending them.
To learn more about BIPOC mental health, check out:
- Mental Health America’s BIPOC Mental Health Month toolkit
- NAMI’s information about Bebe Moore Campbell
- American Counseling Association’s programming for BIPOC Mental Health Month