Minority Mental Health Awareness Month


While mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the U.S., nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment—and racial and ethnic groups are even less likely to get help, according to the US Office of Minority Health.

55% of San Mateo County residents identify as people of color. Especially in our majority minority community, challenges faced by minorities are challenges for us all.

In 2008, the US House of Representatives recognized July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM). A notable African American author, Campbell championed mental health education and support for individuals in diverse communities during her daughter’s long struggle with bipolar disorder.

Through our eight Health Equity Initiatives, the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) has worked to improve and expand culturally sensitive access to and treatment of behavioral health services for underserved communities over the past decade. We encourage all who are interested to get involved with our health equity initiatives and learn more about their impact with our ten year review.

This month offers us all an opportunity to continue fighting stigma by promoting public awareness of mental illness and to recommit ourselves to ensuring everyone in our County has equitable access to mental health treatment and services. As part of our NMMHAM celebration this July, ODE will share images of minority mental health, recovery and resilience in BHRS buildings. These stories are collected from County residents and BHRS clients, reflecting the strength of our community.

Contact Briana Evans (bcevans@smcgov.org) to add Photovoices to your space.

– Briana Evans