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Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Article Briana Evans
Photovoice poster

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) are working towards improving access to behavioral health services for underserved communities. Learn more about the initiatives or check out the Health Equity Initiative’s 10 year impact report below.

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, the 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 at bcevans@smcgov.org to add Photovoices to your space.  Vist the photovoice gallery

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