Culture, Community & Connection:Observing National Minority Mental Health Month

Every July, Mental Health America observes National Minority Mental Health Month. The theme for this year’s campaign is Culture, Community & Connection. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) have faced disproportionate amounts of historical trauma and displacement. This year, Bebe Moore Campbell is remembered for her tireless work as a American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who shed a light on the mental health needs of the black community and other underrepresented communities.

“We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans. The message must go on billboards and in radio and TV public service announcements. It must be preached from the pulpits and discussed in community forums. It’s not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.”

– Bebe Moore Campbell

Historically, the narrative around BIPOC Mental Health has been defined by trauma, disparities, and oppression. Yet, throughout history, BIPOC communities have carved out systems of support to sustain collective wellbeing. Culture, community, and connection are pillars that support and uplift BIPOC communities facing oppression and systemic racism.

Highlighted in this year’s theme is how a person’s life experience is deeply intertwined with the environment they live and breathe in. BIPOC cultures have served as safe havens, even among hostile environments, through the preservation of traditions and uplifting loved ones during times of struggle.  Community has been a powerful anchor and driving force for social change. Connection has been the healing medicine that unites BIPOC communities, which has enriched mutual support, wellness, and strength. Amid the challenges of oppression and systemic racism, culture, community, and connection stand as essential foundations that uplift and empower BIPOC individuals.

BIPOC communities have sustained culture, community, and connection through the following:

mutual aid


Mutual aid: BIPOC communities have a rich history of mutual support, from sharing food and shelter during crises to providing financial assistance to fellow community members.



Cooperative businesses: BIPOC individuals have a long history of establishing cooperative businesses to support their communities, with community members owning and operating these businesses to meet specific needs through goods and services.



Community health clinics: Community health clinics offer affordable healthcare to underserved individuals, being community-led, and staffed by experts in culturally responsive care.



Advocacy and activism: BIPOC individuals organize and advocate against injustices, including racial justice, police brutality, and environmental issues, mobilizing their communities for change.



Cultural celebrations: BIPOC communities host cultural celebrations, like festivals and parades, fostering community, belonging, and pride in their heritage.



Educational programs: BIPOC educational programs offer diverse skills and knowledge, from after-school youth programs to adult job training.



Community gardens: BIPOC community gardens provide fresh produce and a gathering space, offering skills training tied to cultural land practices.

This month, join Mental Health America to change the narrative. Let’s honor and celebrate the ways culture, community, and connection have shaped, supported, and strengthened BIPOC communities. BIPOC communities have always been at the forefront of social change, and it’s important that we pay homage to those that have led the way. They have taught us that belonging and inclusion are essential for well-being and mental health. They have also taught us that when individuals come together to unite under a common goal, they increase their chances of enacting change that could promote overall wellness, a sense of purpose, and connection.

Visit Mental Health America to download this year’s tool kit, find resources, and learn more about this important campaign. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Minority Health to find resources for healthcare providers and professionals.


Mental Health America. (2023). 2023 BIPOC Mental Health Month Toolkit. Mental Health America.

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