Focusing on Mental Health in July

The U.S. House of Representatives has proclaimed July as “Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.” The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn (D- MD) and co-sponsored by a large bipartisan group, including NAMI National (National Alliance on Mental Illness), was passed in recognition that:

• Improved access to mental health treatment and services and public awareness of mental illness are of paramount importance; and

• An appropriate month should be recognized as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among people of color.

Bebe Moore Campbell was an accomplished author of two books concerning mental illness, co-founder of NAMI urban Los Angeles, and national spokesperson and advocate for mental health education and support for people with mental illness and their families of diverse communities. Ms. Campbell passed away in November 2006.

In honor of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI Dorchester/Mattapan/Roxbury and Cambridge Health Alliance are hosting a free community forum on Tues., July 14 from 5 – 8pm at the Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library, 1350 Blue Hill Ave.

The panel will provide real answers to how addiction, depression, dementia, chronic medical illness, ADHD and other mental illnesses are impacting you, your parents, your children and your community.

Laurie Martinelli is a Dorchester resident and Executive Director of NAMI Mass.