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Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 2009 Recap

Recovery for All
August 2009

The Multicultural Action Center wishes to thank everyone who contributed to the success of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 2009. In July, NAMI states and affiliates across the country joined the celebration and effort to increase awareness of mental illness among diverse communities nationwide. A variety of events took place and many proclamations of this special month were made by local leaders expressing the importance of mental health promotion for all Though the energy around minority mental health awareness surged in July, much of the activity was met with a collective recognition of the importance of minority mental health awareness efforts year-round.

Below are some highlights that may serve as examples for efforts that can be made throughout the year:Image

  • NAMI National hosted a variety of sessions and events covering multicultural issues including a town hall meeting in honor of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month during the NAMI 2009 Convention, July 6-9, in San Francisco.   Click here for a recap of these sessions and events.

  • The National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) hosted a Webinar in partnership with the NAMI Multicultural Action Center. The Webinar celebrated National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by featuring presentations by NAMI leaders on how individuals across the country are working to raise mental health awareness among diverse communities. Visit the NNED Web site to access the PowerPoint presentations utilized for this Webinar.


  • Feeling Great: It’s All About Me, a minority mental health expo, took place in Jackson, Miss. The expo featured free screenings and discussions on stress management, postpartum depression, weight management, anxiety, therapy and more. This event was hosted in collaborative effort between NAMI Mississippi, Rho Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Jackson (Miss.) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


  • NAMI Tennessee hosted the state’s first Native American Mental Health Summit in Nashville. The summit addressed Native American mental health disparities in Tennessee and provided a platform for sharing pertinent information, personal experiences, and creation of an action plan through discussion between mental health consumers, family members and health care providers from Native and non-Native communities. The summit resulted with several goals for further action in place including the creation of a network and database for all Native organizations in Tennessee.


  • NAMI Memphis promoted National Minority Mental Health Month through media outreach and enjoyed the recognition of Mayor A C Wharton, who said “through public and private partnerships, we must develop and implement policy which reduces barriers to access, improves community outreach and engagement and ensures culturally and linguistically competent care to diverse communities” in a proclamation recognizing July as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in Shelby County, Tenn.


  • NAMI Urban Los Angeles hosted a wealth of activities including a Veterans of Color Health and Wellness Fair, a ”Color of Justice” symposium and a quilting bee in honor of Bebe Moore Campbell, a founding member of the affiliate. Visit the NAMI Urban Los Angeles Web site for more information.  


  • Reconociendo y avanzando la salud mental en la comunidad hispaña (Recognizing and Advancing Mental Health for the Hispanic Community), a community event held in Union City, N.J. featured speakers Henry Acosta, M.A., M.S.W, L.S.W., Executive Director of the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health, Deputy Director of the New Jersey Mental Health Institute and newly elected member of the NAMI National Board, Martha Silva, Director of NAMI N.J. En Español and President of NAMI Hudson County as well as Johnny Torres, Programs Director of Save Latin America, Inc. The event featured a wealth of mental health information pertinent to Hispanic/Latino communities in celebration of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.


  • With the support of former NAMI national board member Fred Sandoval, current director of the income support division-New Mexico Human Services Department, the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative celebrated National Minority Health Month by co-sponsoring six traditional Mexican health fairs, known as Ferias de Salud in Albuquerque, Velarde and Santa Fe, N.M. The Ferias featured well-known Mexican folk healers who provided information on herbal medications, spiritual cleansings and other traditional healing techniques.


  • NAMI Nebraska hosted a panel discussion on mental health issues and personal perspectives on minority mental health as well as information about NAMI signature education and support programs. NAMI Nebraska also hosted presentations of NAMI's Sharing Hope: Understanding Mental Health program, designed to initiate discussions of mental health and strategies of support among African American congregations. 


  • NAMI Dorchester/Mattapan/Roxbury (Mass.) hosted an expert panel on geriatric, adult and child populations, addiction, inpatient and outpatient treatment, the interaction between mental illness and physical illness and the role of churches in mental health treatment in black communities. The panel discussed the impact of addiction, depression, dementia, chronic medical illness, ADHD and other mental illnesses on individuals, families and the community. The event was co-sponsored by the Cambridge Health Alliance with support from the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) grant for diversity.