July is BIPOC Mental Health Month

July 4, 2022

Today is the Fourth of July, Independence Day. Our country is known as a melting pot because of the important role immigration and diversity has had on our history. July is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Mental Health Month. This year’s theme for BIPOC Mental Health Month is #BeyondTheNumbers. The American Counseling Association writes:  Minority Mental Health Month is a nationwide effort developed by Mental Health America to shed light on the multitude of mental health experiences within Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. 

According to the US Department of Health and Human services, BIPOC communities are less likely to receive mental health treatment, yet Black adults are 20% more likely than white adults to report psychological distress and those who identify as being of two or more races are more likely than any other race/ethnic group to report any mental illness.

Research shows that our friends and neighbors of color or who are gay or transgender are less likely to access, or have access, to mental health care due to stigma and barriers caused by implicit bias or systemic racism. How can you help? First, raise awareness of the issue. Second, be proactive and seek to understand your neighbors and fellow community members who you perceive as being different from you. Supportive relationships are the number one way to overcome any kind of a mental health issue within the past year.

How can you be a help to your fellow community members who may be experiencing mental health issues? Be a friend. Seek to understand your neighbors who you perceive as being different from you. Focus on being nonjudgmental, compassionate and understanding. 

Ask or say

  • Is everything okay?
  • I've noticed that you haven't been acting like yourself lately.
  • Is something going on?
  • Let’s talk to someone about it.
  • How can I best support you right now?
  • Can I help you find mental health services and supports?
  • Can I help you make an appointment?
  • Can I help you with the stuff you need to get done until you’re feeling better?
  • Would you like me to go with you to-a-support group or a meeting?
  • Do you need a ride to any of your appointments?

Remember you have the power to be a healing force in the life of another. This month, let's raise awareness, reach out and support our neighbors no matter who they are, so that they have the encouragement and love they need to thrive.

-Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCCS, Executive Director

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