This document is a compilation of information shared by University of Cincinnati CECH Tiffany Chin, MA, LPC, Manager of Special Projects & Programs Scholarship Chair and Coordinator during Minority Mental Health month. These resources and additional information are available through Mental Health America (MHA) and National Alliance on Mental Issues (NAMI).
Over the past month, our country has awakened to the longstanding effects of racism and injustice, including the effects on mental health. This includes racism that was built into systems of care, services and supports that often went unchecked and unmentioned. As the Brookings Center has reported, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people in the United States have all experienced higher infection and death rates from COVID-19. MHA has also documented greater mental health impacts on people who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander or of mixed race. Historically, the same has been true for people who identify as LGBTQ+.
MHA has put out a Call to Action for people to share how discrimination and/or racism have affected their mental health, using the hashtag #ImpactofTrauma on social media platforms. For us to understand the impacts of trauma, MHA describes the need to use an intersectional lens that helps us look beyond one individual experience and consider historical factors, systems and other elements that influence our thinking and emotional wellness.
“While everyone – all colors – everyone is affected by stigma – no one wants to say ‘I’m not in control of my mind’. No one wants to say, ‘The person I love is not in control of [their] mind’. But people of color really don’t want to say it because we already feel stigmatized by virtue of skin color or eye shape or accent and we don’t want any more reasons for anyone to say, ‘You’re not good enough’… We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans... It's not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible."
–Bebe Moore Campbell, 2005
Bebe Moore Campbell was a best-selling author, journalist, advocate, co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles and national spokesperson, who passed away in November 2006. Her mental health advocacy earned her the posthumous honor of July being designated by the U.S. House of Representatives as “Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Month” in 2008. Read Bebe Moore Campbell’s obituary here: