July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

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Montgomery, AL- July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Bebe Moore Campbell was an advocator of mental health education. She was an author, activist, and co- founder of National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Urban Los Angeles. The U.S. Congress proclaimed July as National Minority Health Awareness Month in 2008.

This month is dedicated to raising mental health awareness and informing communities about available resources. Efforts are made nationwide to improve access to mental health treatment and convey the importance of mental wellness.

Mental health is a critical issue that plagues many minority communities. According to NAMI, 16.3% Hispanic adults are living with a mental health condition while 18.6% Black adults are living with a mental health condition.

Research shows that in the LGTBQ community, individuals are 2 or more times more likely than straight individuals to have a mental health condition. It has been reported that 11% of transgender individuals are being denied health care by mental health clinics due to discrimination and bias. Also, LGTBQ youth are 2-3 times more likely to commit suicide that straight youth.

Research also shows that people living in multicultural communities have less access to mental health treatment and are less likely to receive treatment. They also receive a poorer quality of care, and experience higher levels of stigma, racism, discrimination, and bias in treatment settings.

It is a fact that mental health affects everyone regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Statistics from NAMI show that approximately 1 in 5 adults (18.5%) in the U.S. experience mental illness. Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the U.S live with a mental illness. One- half of all chronic illness begins by the age 14, three- quarters by the age of 24.

There are many ways to participate in National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. You can share information with family, friends, and co-workers. You can also get involved with local organizations. Get help with mental health by talking to your doctor and leaning more information.

For more information about National Minority Mental Awareness Month and mental health facts visit www.nami.org

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