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NAMI Observes Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Saturday, September 19, 2009 General News J E 4
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ARLINGTON, Va., July 1 The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reminds Americans that July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a time for public education about serious mental illness in diverse communities.

In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives designated July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in honor of the leading African American novelist and journalist, who also was a voice for individuals and families affected by mental illness. She died in 2006.

Campbell's best-selling books included Your Blues Ain't Like Mine (1992), Brothers and Sisters (1994), Singing in the Comeback Choir (1998) and 72-Hour Hold (2005). She was co-founder of NAMI Urban Los Angeles.

"NAMI is proud to honor Bebe Moore Campbell's legacy of public education and advocacy on behalf of people and their families who live with mental illness -- especially those in diverse communities," said Michael Fitzpatrick, NAMI executive director.

"Disparities in mental health care still prevent people from getting the help they need. We must work to ensure that all Americans have access to culturally competent services and treatment."

Mental illness affects one in four American families and people in diverse communities are no exception. The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that minorities:

For additional information about National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, visit: www.nami.org/minoritymentalhealthmonth.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, www.nami.org, is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

-- are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness -- have less access to and availability of mental health services -- often receive a poorer quality of mental health care -- are underrepresented in mental health research.

SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness
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