National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 2021NICHQ recognizes July as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month — a month dedicated to awareness, advocacy and support for BIPOC with mental health conditions and the challenges they face to access quality mental health services. By listening to people from systematically minoritized communities and approaching our quality improvement efforts with an equity lens, we can work to improve mental health outcomes for children and their caregivers.

Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 2008 to improve access to mental health treatment and services and enhance public awareness of mental illness among minorities. 

This year, the National Alliance of Mental Health is amplifying the message, "You're Not Alone," and focusing on the healing value of connecting in safe ways, prioritizing mental health, and acknowledging that it’s okay to not be okay.

Support BIPOC Living with Mental Health Conditions

As public health professionals and care providers, it's important to support BIPOC in achieving their optimal mental health by ensuring equal access to quality mental health services and amplifying the voices of people from historically excluded communities. Looking for more resources? We hope you find these insights, tools and resources to be helpful.

Building Strength & Resiliency in Children

Mental health in childhood involves reaching developmental and emotional milestones, learning healthy social skills, and understanding how to cope when there are problems.

  • Primary care clinicians are increasingly identifying children with emotional and behavioral disorders and serve as an important first resource for parents and caregivers. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a suite of tools as well as a video series for pediatricians. Learn More.
  • Stressful events during childhood can have a negative impact across the lifespan. Promoting protective buffers is a vital way for public health professionals, health care providers, families, and policymakers to help more children have a healthy future. Learn more.
  • Strong early social and emotional development gives children the building blocks for lifelong mental health. Pediatric care professionals can help children build this foundation by fostering social and emotional development. Learn more.

Mental Health & Sickle Cell Disease

To acknowledge the impact of sickle cell disease (SCD) on patients' mental health and to increase awareness of this rare and painful disease, the Sickle Cell Disease Coalition (SCDC) has created reading lists of recommended literature on SCD in an array of genres for children, young adults, and adults.

NICHQ is partnering with patient advocates and experts in sickle cell disease care to support increased appointment attendance and to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 for people living with SCD. 

Support Caregivers Experiencing Depression

Despite the prevalence of maternal depression, too many mothers and birthing people don’t get the help they need to heal. And when mothers' health suffers, their children's health often suffers, too.

  • Black mothers are at a higher risk of experiencing postpartum depression and less likely to receive the care they need. This issue brief shares tips for helping Black mothers and families understand the signs of maternal depression.
  • Black mothers are dying from pregnancy-related deaths at over four times the rate of white women. Reducing Black maternal mortality starts with understanding the individual experiences of Black mothers. Learn how listening sessions can reveal significant barriers to care that Black mothers are facing.
  • Physicians, public health providers, policymakers, families, and community advocates can take action and drive change to improve mother's mental health. This webinar discusses strategies for improving access to maternal depression screenings and interventions.
  • Black babies are at much higher risk of being born preterm or low birth weight due to their mothers increased exposure to toxic stress from institutionalized racism. Targeted interventions and policy efforts, outlined in this case study, can play a significant role in reducing preterm birth rates. 

Webinars for Pursuing Equity

Our Health Equity Webinar Series is focused on actionable steps individuals can take to promote change, including: