“National Minority Mental Health Month is observed in July as a nationwide effort developed by Mental Health America. It hopes to bring to attention the multitude of mental health experiences within BIPOC communities. The month also considers the unfair inequities such as systemic and historical barriers that negatively impact a person’s mental health. The concerns and traumas faced by the marginalized, oppressed, and disenfranchised people are unique and need to be addressed. It is important to have professional and empathetic mental health caregivers to help overcome mental health issues and faulty diagnoses.” — National Today
In my day job, I have the opportunity to spend a lot of time researching and learning about mental health, racism, and the effects of these factors on BIPOC people. It is something that I feel blessed to do because it wasn’t until I was able to spend hours researching and looking through data to see the actual impacts of mental health on BIPOC communities.
The interesting thing is, I have been living it! I also can imagine there are others who have lived through it! Do you know what I never did and what many other people probably did not do, talk about it! When you face living through your mental health, it becomes a part of you, it becomes ingrained in you, and it never indeed occurs to you that this is not the way things are supposed to be. Stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues are not considered to exist in your life. However, if your mother lived this way, her mother lived this way, and her mother before her lived that way, it is easy for you, now four generations removed, to think this is just what it ought to be. Wrong!
The 2022 NMHM theme is Give Your Community a Boost! Although a focus on COVID-19 booster awareness in your communities, I want you to focus on boosting up your community! I believe that one story can reach thoughts, and the only way to beat mental health stigmas is by talking about it. For far too long, many of us have suffered in silence. If you are BIPOC, you know that acceptance and recognition of your mental health issues don’t always come so quickly. There is often a lack of resources, funds, and just plain lack.
I believe it doesn’t have to be that way. To boost means to be a source of help or encouragement leading to increase or improvement. How does progress in mental health happen? Be encouraged that you are not alone! I am sure if you open yourself up and share your story, you will find someone else who is struggling with something similar. So, who will you boost up this month?