July was designated as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008 to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the United States (US).
While the term ‘minority’ is traditionally associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural minorities within the US, Mental Health America (MHA) is focused on expanding this term to include individuals from a wide-range of marginalized and underserved communities, including those who may identify as part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, refugee and immigrant groups, religious groups, and others who are often overlooked.
By making this term more inclusive, we are broadening our way of thinking and underscoring the need to address mental health issues with a unique lens while integrating the varied needs of diverse communities.
Through our efforts, we aim to shed light on the multitude of mental health experiences within these communities.
#DepthOfMyIdentity Campaign Overview (2019)
Our identities are formed not only by what we believe to be true, but also the views of others around us. In many ways, specific communities (oftentimes referred to as marginalized, people of color, minority) are seen as victims or broken. As a community, they must constantly work towards combating those stereotypes to maintain wellbeing. It is at the intersection of all these nuanced identities where one must constantly confront the biases and stereotypes used by others to define them.
This year, we want to understand how these intersections and struggles impact the mental health of these communities. We want to challenge those perceptions and highlight the depth of one’s identity beyond what is seen or what others believe to be true – and how many thrive despite the mental health challenges thrown their way.
To create the space for conversation around these issues, we ask you to share the depth of your identity and how it relates to your mental health journey. We want to challenge preconceptions and bias in the community and show others that we all thrive. Join our 2019 Minority Mental Health Month campaign by showing us who you see.
How do I get involved with #DepthOfMyIdentity?
Throughout the month of July, we are asking you to share content (a video, pictures, a series of videos, a poem, notes, or even GIFs) responding to the Guiding Questions provided below. These questions were developed to help you think about your experience and your story. We ask that you use these questions as prompts as you develop and share content.
Help us and others understand your lived experience and how we can all do better to address stereotypes, negative preconceptions, and bias to improve our overall mental health.
Guiding Questions #DepthOfMyIdentity:
- What labels would you use to describe yourself?
- How have the perceptions of others impacted you and your mental health?
- What advice would you give to others to protect their wellbeing and overall mental health if they encounter similar challenges?
To allow individuals the freedom to feel comfortable in sharing their stories without disclosing their identity, we welcome anonymous submissions. If you are interested in sharing content anonymously, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject noted as “MMHM Submission.”
We will use your submitted content and develop social media posts without noting your identity.
This effort is supported by educational funding from Alkermes, Janssen, and Otsuka.