July is BIPOC Mental Health Month (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)

MHANJ Celebrates the Strength in Our Communities

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month

Formally recognized in June 2008 (and still celebrated today), Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face with regard to mental illness in the U.S. Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other under-represented communities.
To continue the visionary work of Bebe Moore Campbell, every July, the MHANJ joins with Mental Health America in celebrating BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Mental Health Month, sharing a public education campaign dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This year’s BIPOC Mental Health Month theme is Strength in Communities, highlighting mental health supports created by BIPOC and QTBIPOC (Queer and Trans BIPOC). One example, Community care, is an approach utilized by individuals to support one another and the broader community.
Community care has existed in BIPOC and QTBIPOC communities for generations as this approach relies on the collectivistic beliefs of many of these communities, where the well-being of the individual is intrinsically tied to the well-being of others, including the larger community. It focuses on the connections, intentional actions, and efforts to mobilize individuals to support one another. Community care may include but is not limited to: mutual aid, healing circles, community healing, doulas, faith practices, community health workers, and peer support.
The MHANJ’s COVID-19 Pandemic Emotional Support for Families of Color helps address inequities regarding behavioral healthcare access and outcomes in the state’s communities most negatively impacted by COVID-19. Through this program and close collaboration with partners, the MHANJ offers virtual communities of care, employing a holistic approach. It provides education, and emotional and mental health support to assist underserved individuals and families faced with challenges related to mental health and substance use disorder. This program is funded by a New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF).
Source for article and photo: Mental Health America Footnote: 11 Ozbay, F., Johnson, D. C., Dimoulas, E., Morgan III, C. A., Charney, D., & Southwick, S. (2007). Social support and resilience to stress: from neurobiology to clinical practice. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 4(5):35.