Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Mental Health Month
July 4, 2020
“I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” – James Baldwin
July is the month Americans celebrate the birth of independence―it’s the month of the national holiday when we gather and celebrate our freedom.
But in a country where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are less likely to have access to mental health services and more likely to have lower quality care;
In a country where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color experience discrimination and systematic alienation from Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness;
In a country where we have not all been treated equally—many do not experience the freedom that has been our country’s principle source of pride.
Addressing racism is a mental health priority. For far too long, we have ignored the mental health effects of violence and systemic racism on members of our society. The systemic inequities that permeate all our lives prevent any of us from achieving healthier minds—and they cannot be ignored.
Mental Health Colorado is following Bebe Moore Campbell’s* lead in honoring July as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Mental Health Month. When we have ensured that all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are free at last from systematic discrimination and oppression, when all receive the support and resources needed to truly thrive, then we will truly have cause to celebrate.
Until then, we can celebrate that we have set our sights on the worthiest goal and that we are determined to achieve it before the sun sets on another generation.
*Bebe Moore Campbell was a mental health advocate, journalist, best-selling author, and teacher. Read more about her here.