July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, commonly referred to as BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month! Natural Balance Counseling wanted to take some time this July to provide education on the inspiring Black woman we have to thank for her legacy that led this month to be created and to explore why this month deserves to be observed.
Who was Bebe Moore Campbell?
Bebe Moore Campbell was a journalist, 3 times New York Times Best Selling author, teacher, and fierce mental health advocate focused on shedding light on the unique and complex challenges that minority individuals face regarding stigma surrounding mental health and lack of culturally competent mental health care in the U.S.
Campbell’s passion for mental health was driven by her experience as a mother with a child struggling with mental illness and a system that prevented her daughter from getting adequate support. This sparked Campbell to co-found the National Alliance on Mental Illness Urban Los Angeles to change how mental health care was provided to underserved communities and to provide a safe space for Black people to discuss their mental health journeys and experiences to begin to erase the stigma.
In 2008, following Bebe Moore Campbell’s passing in 2006 after a long battle with cancer, the U.S. House of Representatives declared that July will be observed as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Her name will continue to live on as well as the work she dedicated her life to.
Why is a month like this important?
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month focuses on raising awareness of the unique struggles of underrepresented communities regarding mental healthcare in the U.S. and destigmatizing mental illness in the BIPOC community. BIPOC individuals experience ongoing systemic racism, discrimination, inequity, and oppression that have an impact on their overall well-being which results in trauma for these individuals and the communities as a whole. In addition to the adversities that the BIPOC community has continued to face, there is also an overwhelming stigma surrounding mental health in the BIPOC community as well as a lack of access to quality mental health services, a lack of multiculturally affirming and competent professionals, and a lack of diversity among health care providers. This month serves as a way to continue to do the work of Bebe Moore Campbell by educating, empowering, and uplifting historically underrepresented minority communities in their mental health journeys. Campbell’s legacy continues to live on and inspire a national movement for inclusion and mental healthcare equality grounded in empathy, awareness, and cultural humility. Check out the resources listed at the end of the blog to learn ways to educate yourself more on Bebe Moore Campbell and this national month as well as learn how to get involved.
Natural Balance Counseling takes pride in our team of culturally affirming and grounded counselors and understands how important it is for our clients to trust that they can show up authentically as themselves in session. We strive to take culture into consideration for the treatment of each of our clients. If you live in Texas and you are interested in our services, please feel free to reach out today to schedule a free consultation to see if we would be a good fit for you!