JULY IS NATIONAL MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

In 2008, the US House of Representatives designated July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, which is now known as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn [D-MD] and cosponsored by a large bipartisan group to achieve two goals:

  • Improve access to mental health treatment and services and promote public awareness of mental illness.
  • Name a month as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities.

As part of this effort, The HHS Office of Minority Health joins partners at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels to help raise awareness about mental illness and its effects on racial and ethnic minority populations.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • In 2017, 41.5% of youth ages 12-17 received care for a major depressive episode, but only 35.1% of black youth and 32.7% of Hispanic youth received treatment for their condition.
  • Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic group.
  • In 2017, 13.3% of youth ages 12-17 had at least one depressive episode, but that number was higher among American Indian and Alaska Native youth at 16.3% and among Hispanic youth at 13.8%. 
  • In 2017, 18.9% of adults (46.6 million people) had a mental illness. That rate was higher among people of two or more races at 28.6%, non-Hispanic whites at 20.4% and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders at 19.4%. 

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that “racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care. Poor mental health care access and quality contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide, among racial and ethnic minority populations.”

OTHER NEWS

SPOTLIGHT FEATURE ON JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INC.

To be valued and loved. To know who you are and that you have the power to make a
difference. These are the aspirations that most mothers have their children. In 1938, in the midst
of the Great Depression, twenty African-American mothers in Philadelphia came together not to
hope or to dream, but to provide the opportunities, experiences, and life lessons that would
enable their children and others to live these truths. Their group became Jack and Jill of
America, Inc. – an organization that’s mission is as relevant today as it was some 80 years ago.

JUNE IS AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC APPRECIATION MONTH

This June, The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) joins our nation in celebrating the 40th Anniversary of African American Music Appreciation Month.

The month-long observance, which was first inducted on June 7, 1979, by President Jimmy Carter was christened as Black Music Month. President Barack Obama renamed the national observance as African-American Music Appreciation Month. The observance was created to recognize and celebrate the historical influence African-Americans have had on the music industry and is intended to pay homage to the many artists, writers, songs and albums that have inspired music lovers and shaped American pop culture.

May Is Lupus Awareness Month

In honor of Lupus Awareness Month, the Lupus Foundation of America released a new survey they recently commissioned which reveals the need for better public understanding of this devastating autoimmune disease and why early diagnosis is so important.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, “The survey sample was designed to be reflective of the U.S. population’s diverse demographics. Women of color are at two to three times greater risk for developing lupus than Caucasian women. However, over half of respondents (62%) didn’t recognize that minority populations were disproportionately impacted by lupus.

Minority women tend to develop lupus at a younger age, experiencing more serious complications and have higher mortality rates. This was reflected among minority respondents who indicated they were also more worried about developing the disease than others surveyed: 44% compared to 29% of the sample overall.”

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