BIPOC Mental Health Month asks all of us to enhance public awareness of mental illness faced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. For historically marginalized communities, traditional systems of care may overlook cultural and historical factors that impede BIPOC mental health. That is why this year Mental Health America (MHA) is highlighting #StrengthInCommunities. For #BIPOCMentalHealthMonth, their toolkit includes supports created by BIPOC and queer and trans BIPOC (QTBIPOC) communities of color for their communities.
Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities. Formally recognized in June 2008 (and still currently recognized today), Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face with regard to mental illness in the U.S.
To continue the visionary work of Bebe Moore Campbell, each year Mental Health America (MHA) develops a public education campaign dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Strength in Communities
This year’s theme is Strength in Communities, where we will highlight alternative mental health supports created by BIPOC and queer and trans BIPOC (QTBIPOC) communities of color, for BIPOC and QTBIPOC communities of color. The MHA 2021 toolkit examines community-developed systems of support created to fill gaps within mainstream healthcare systems. These systems may overlook cultural and historical factors that impede BIPOC and QTBIPOC mental health. The toolkit explores three topic areas: community care, self-directed care, and culturally-based practices. Download the full toolkit here!
California's efforts to identify Community-Defined Evidence Practices (CDEPs)
The California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP) is a first of its kind, PEI (Prevention and Early Intervention) initiative funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA, or Proposition 63). This statewide initiative aims to pair community driven mental health solutions with rigorous data for 35 pilot projects. In doing this, the data and evaluation works to identify solutions for the communities in California that have historically been underserved, excluded, and offered inappropriate care. CRDP focused on five (5) populations:
- African Americans/Black
- Asians and Pacific Islanders (API)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ+)
- Native Americans
Visit their website to learn more about each of the 35 pilot projects!
Through their work with the California Reducing Disparities Project, the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) convened a group of stakeholders to discuss next steps and recommendations stemming from the findings of the 5 year long project. The goal is to inform elected officials, public health departments, and local and state policy makers about the unique and distinct needs of communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community in accessing culturally and linguistically informed mental health care.
In April 2021, a Concept Paper was released proposing Policy Options for Community-Defined Evidence Practices (CDEPs). Download the Concept Paper to learn more!