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Open Conversation: Recognizing BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted at 2:04 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 15:04:57-04

WACO, Texas — Conversations around mental health are important to have in any community, but during the month of July, the spotlight is on people of color.

July is known as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

Bebe Moore Campbell was an American journalist, teacher and mental health advocate. For years she fought for equitable mental health care, especially for African American communities, up until her death in 2006 at just 56 years old.

A bipartisan motion in Congress formally dedicated the month to her and her advocacy for people of color on June 2, 2008, to raise awareness on the unique struggles and experiences underrepresented communities face in the mental health system.

According to Mental Health America, 13% of Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders live with a mental illness. That number is a little higher for the Latino/Hispanic community at 15% and 17% for African Americans.

Indigenous communities are at an even higher risk with reports showing 23% have a mental illness. They are also the most likely group to screen positive for bipolar disorder and PTSD.