July is BIPOC mental health month.
The event was established in 2008 as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in an effort to create awareness of the unique struggles faced by underrepresented groups in the United States.
Campbell was an author, teacher, and mental health advocate with a mission to shine a light on the mental health issues of minority communities.
BIPOC mental health seeks to continue the visionary work of Campbell by developing public education campaigns that bring awareness to as many people as possible while also addressing the needs of BIPOC.
Traditional Roadblocks Keeping BIPOC from Receiving Treatment
According to the Mental Health America organization, over 15 million BIPOC have reported they struggle with mental health issues.
Unfortunately, many of these people face roadblocks to seeking the treatment they so desperately need.
Far too often stigma surrounding mental illness leads to hesitation in seeking mental health treatment. Often mental illness is considered taboo or a weakness.
Lack of Access
Often, people within the BIPOC community do not speak English. For those who live in smaller, rural communities in the United States access to clinicians who speak a foreign language may be limited.
In addition, according to the American Psychological Association, 86% of psychologists in the United States are White. It can be difficult to find a therapist who understands their language, culture, and specific challenges.
Lack of Resources
A lack of resources (i.e. transportation, insurance), outreach efforts and resources regarding mental health treatment is another impediment faced by those in the BIPOC community.
Awareness is the first step towards change. Let’s break the silence and do what we can to advocate for mental health care for all members of our community.
If you or someone you know is a part of the BIPOC community and suffering, reach out to a trusted mental health therapist to explore treatment options today.