In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives declared July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Campbell was a relentless advocate for mental health education and support for Black, Indigenous, People of Color in communities that have been historically underserved. In addition to her advocacy work, Campbell was a prominent African American author, and co-founder of the National Alliance on Mental Health, Urban Los Angeles.
While anyone can experience mental illness, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, Campbell worked tirelessly to highlight the inequities and systemic racism BIPOC face accessing mental health services. Common barriers to treatment include the cost of mental health care and insurance, prejudice and discrimination, and structural obstacles like transportation.
Stigma and judgment also prevent Black people from seeking treatment for their mental illnesses. According to Mental Health America, research suggests that Black people believe that mild depression or anxiety would be not taken seriously in their social circles. In addition, many believe that discussions about mental illness would not be appropriate even among family. Poor communication with health care providers is also an issue in the Latinx community. In many areas, there is a lack of bilingual or Spanish speaking mental health professionals to provide treatment. Although there have been advancements in health equity, the mental healthcare disparities that exist are still a reality for millions of BIPOC.
Check out the mental health resources for BIPOC below that continue Bebe Moore Campbell’s work through technology, education and support.
Mental Health Services, Support Groups and Therapy
- Therapy For Black Girls – Culturally competent providers specifically by/for Black women, + check out the Therapy for Black Girls podcast
- Decolonizing Therapy
- Asian Mental Health Project
- Sistah Friends “What to Expect from Therapy” page
- National Queer/Trans Therapists of Color Network
- Latinx Therapy
- Inclusive Therapy Network – Intersectional and Inclusive Mental Health providers
- Racial stress coping toolkit for Black families from Village of Wisdom (includes mental health service providers)
- The Loveland Foundation – Financial assistance to Black women & girls seeking therapy
- Liberate Meditation App for BIPOC (Check out an article about the app)
- Virtual BIPOC meditation group
For Educators Looking to Incorporate Healing/Mental Health supports into their schools
- Flourish Agenda Certification
- Hearts UCSF Trauma Informed Principles for developing trauma-informed schools grounded in cultural humility and equity
- Healing Justice Response/Rapid Response Planning Toolkit for responding to traumatic or violent community events http://dignityandpowernow.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Healing-Justice-Toolkit_PRINT_March-1.pdf
This resource page includes organizations, digital resources and videos, support groups, and therapy directories to help support the mental health of young people of color. This resource also provides a list of Instagram accounts of mental health educators, therapists of color, and community support pages.
The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related toany natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisissupport service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
If you or a loved one are feeling overwhelmed with emotions, anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or someone else, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255 (English) and 1-888-628-9454.