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ARLINGTON, VA — This July, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) honors the legacy of Bebe Moore Campbell, a trailblazer who tore down barriers to mental health care in underserved communities. Her work crossed boundaries of race, ethnicity and identity, helping to destigmatize people who seek mental health care.
The U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 designated July as “Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month” in recognition of Campbell’s endless drive to create positive change in communities of color. NAMI is celebrating and building on her impact all month with special programs and resources.
Campbell recognized that mental health affects us all — and everyone should have the right to be heard and healed without shame or judgment. She worked to create safe spaces for people in communities of color to connect with others who share similar experiences and cultural backgrounds. These safe spaces provided a gateway to vital mental health resources and support networks.
“By emphasizing our shared humanity, we hope to shift attitudes toward empathy and compassion, regardless of race, culture or identity,” said NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr. “We want everyone, especially the most vulnerable, to know that reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
“This July and beyond, we’re not only honoring Bebe Moore Campbell’s legacy, but we’re also working to empower, uplift and elevate historically underrepresented communities in their mental health journeys, while eradicating stigma.”
NAMI is building on Campbell’s work with culturally relevant mental health resources and providing support and education programs tailored to different cultures, languages and identities.
NAMI Sharing Hope and NAMI Compartiendo Esperanza are presentations created for Black/African Ancestry and Latino communities to safely explore conversations on mental health. Both are designed to promote mental health awareness, explore signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, and highlight how and where to find help.
A new page on NAMI’s website features ways to join the conversation, including resources and shareable content that celebrate #ShadesOfMentalHealth.
“Strength Over Silence: Stories of Courage, Culture and Community” is a NAMI docuseries that highlights mental health perspectives of people across different backgrounds and communities. Through candid and courageous stories of lived experience, these mental health champions share their resilience and recovery, emphasizing the importance of culture and identity in the mental health movement.
Through these initiatives, NAMI is working to increase community-based engagement, offer mental health information, share resources and insights from people with lived experience, and increase access to culturally appropriate support.
If you or someone you love needs help, contact the NAMI HelpLine, Monday–Friday from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Eastern Time. Call 1-800-950-6264, text “HelpLine” to 62640, visit and chat online at nami.org/help, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NAMI HelpLine is a free, nationwide resource staffed by trained peer-support specialists to answer questions, listen and offer support. They can provide practical next steps, as well as help identify the best local resource options for your individual concerns.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
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