July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month In May 2008 the US House of Representatives proclaimed July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn [D-MD] and cosponsored by a large bipartisan group, was passed in recognition that: Improved access to mental health treatment and services and public awareness of mental illness are of paramount importance; There is an important need for improved access to care, treatment, and services for those diagnosed with severe and persistent mental health disorders and improved public awareness of mental illness; and An appropriate month should be recognized as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities. NAMI is extremely grateful for this showing of bipartisan support for mental health awareness in minority communities and for the important recognition of the life of Bebe Moore Campbell. Click here for more details and full text of resolution H. Con. Res. 134. Read NAMI's letter of support for this important resolution here. Bebe Moore Campbell Bebe Moore Campbell was an accomplished author, advocate, co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles and national spokesperson, who passed away in November 2006. She received NAMI's 2003 Outstanding Media Award for Literature for the book Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, written especially for children, about a young girl who learns how to cope with her mother's bipolar illness. In 2005, her novel 72-Hour Hold focused on an adult daughter and a family's experience with the onset of mental illness. It helped educate Americans that the struggle often is not just with the illness, but with the healthcare system as well. Campbell advocated for mental health education and support among individuals with mental illness and their families of diverse communities. www.bebemoorecampbell.com To order her books, and help NAMI, visit Amazon.com Learn More about Mental Health in Minority Communities Many reports, including the 2001 Surgeon Generals report, Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity, identify barriers within ethnic/racial populations to access to quality mental healthcare, promoting a charge to eliminate disparities. In general, minority communities often face barriers in accessing quality mental health services such as poverty, lack of available treatments and supports, pervasive stigma and prejudice, language barriers and lack of cultural competence in service delivery. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 2007 National Healthcare Disparities Report found that, overall, disparities in healthcare have not been decreasing in recent years, and though gaps in disparities data specific to mental healthcare are too large to make any such conclusions, a similar trend can be assumed. Access NAMI fact sheets and other resources related to issues in multicultural mental health here.