July is “Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month,” known this year as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and LGBTQ+ Mental Health Month. During July, mental health organizations and advocates all over the country have been highlighting the experiences of people of color and LGBTQ+ people who have been faced with the challenges of mental illness.
In the United States, up to 1 in 5 children in school experience or have experienced mental health concerns. Nearly 70% of adolescents with mental health concerns don’t receive the care they need, and due to stigma and lack of access, this statistic affects students of color and other students who are marginalized at a higher rate. As BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Mental Health Month comes to an end, it’s important to take the important steps to continue to support students who are marginalized throughout the rest of the year and beyond.
Here are some resources to educate yourself and your students in order to help support the mental health of BIPOC students all year long:
TED Talks to Watch
- Don’t suffer from your depression in silence – Nikki Webber Allen
- There’s no shame in taking care of your mental health – Sangu Delle
- How students of color confront impostor syndrome – Dena Simmons
Books to Read
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
- “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.
- Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting by Terrie M. Williams
Online Resources to Visit and Share
- The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation: Providing support and bringing awareness to mental health issues in the Black community
- One Sky Center: National resource center dedicated to health care for American Indian/Alaska Native peoples, including mental health support
- Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum: Health advocacy organization focused on health care access and quality for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
- Therapy for Latinx: A network of culturally affirming mental health resources for Latinx Americans
Along with educating yourself and your students to understand and support BIPOC students, it’s also crucial to practice antiracism all year long in order to set a standard in your school or district. Students of color are faced with the emotional trauma of racism every day, and this weighs on their mental health over time. Creating a safe, antiracist environment in which BIPOC students feel safe and supported is the first step in helping to improve the mental health of these students.
For all students who are in need of direct mental health support, for patients with common diagnoses of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders in partnership with mental health facilities and K-12 educators.