In May 2008, the US House of Representatives declared July as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the month of July, minority mental health awareness advocates and organizations increase public awareness of mental illness among minorities in order for improved access to mental health treatment and services among minorities.
Mental health issues affects 1 in 5 Americans but African American women remain one of the most undertreated groups for depression in the United States. When a black woman suffers from a mental disorder, the opinion is that she is weak. And weakness in black women is intolerable. African-American women experience higher rates of depression than their white female or black male counterparts, but receive lower rates of treatment for depression — specifically adequate treatment due to racial and cultural needs not being met. A 2012 report published by researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that poverty, parenting, racial and gender discrimination put African-American (AA) women — especially low-income AA women — at greater risk for major depressive disorder (MDD).
A national campaign [is needed] to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans... It's not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible."
- Bebe Moore Campbell, 2005