Minority Mental Health Month

Mental health conditions do not discriminate.
Not across race, gender, ethnicity, economics, nor politics.
Brain diseases don’t ask questions.

We work very hard every day to make sure our services are accessible to as many people as possible.

Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness, regardless of their background.

However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. In 2008, July was established as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to address this disparity.

Our beliefs, norms, values, and language affect how we perceive and experience mental health conditions. We know that non-white racial and ethnic minority groups face additional barriers that prevent them from receiving care, such as higher levels of stigma, misinformation about mental health, and language.

Even when members of these groups are able to access treatment, they often receive poorer quality care due to lack of cultural competence, bias, and inadequate resources – on the part of mental health care providers.  This results in misdiagnosis, dropping out of treatment, and a longer time to achieve recovery.  However, when a mental health professional does take into account cultural needs and differences, outcomes can be significantly improved.

Although everyone’s experience is unique, having information and knowledge about resources specific to your community can help you get better treatment.

Events for July 2020

Save Lives, Don’t Take Them – Removing the NYPD from the Mental Health Emergency Response System

Over the past weeks, New Yorkers’ demands to take power away from the police have risen to a crescendo. Too many families and individuals have been harmed by our over-reliance on a flawed system. Too many people in need have received handcuffs instead of help, especially people trying to get help for a mental health crisis.

Join NAMI-NYC and the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) for a panel discussion, as we analyze the problems with our current mental health crisis response system and discuss potential solutions. Our goal is to examine the role of police and to envision crisis responses that help New Yorkers, rather than punishing them.

Learn more about the fight to transform NYC’s mental health emergency system and find out ways you can get involved!

Our Panelists

Thank you to our co-sponsors! CCITNYC, VOCAL, Just Leadership, and Office of the Public Advocate.

Save LIves, Don't Take Them

Watch the replay

Supporting Minority Mental Health – A Discussion with NYC Policymakers of Color

To kick-off Minority Mental Health Awareness month, NAMI-NYC hosted a virtual panel discussion with policymakers of color who represent NYC, to further the conversation about minority mental health policy.

Our guests answered questions about:

  • How being a person of color impacted their own mental health
  • Why they believe paying attention to your mental health is important, especially in minority communities
  • What can be done to overcome the stigma surrounding mental health in minority communities
  • What policy changes are needed to support the mental health of BIPOC
  • How they’re working to support the mental health of New Yorkers during COVID-19
  • Policing in the city
  • Resources and tips for constituents – that’s you


Watch the replay on our Facebook here.

Supporting Minority Mental Health - A Discussion with NYC Policymakers of Color

Watch the replay here

NAMI-NYS Perspectives Episode 31: Jamil Hamilton

“For the latest episode of NAMI-NYS Perspectives we welcome Jamil Hamilton, Public Policy and Advocacy Manager for NAMI-NYC Metro. In this episode Jamil discusses maintaining his mental wellness both in navigating COVID-19 and in response to the racial injustice issues. Jamil explains how NAMI-NYC is projecting their advocacy voice during social isolation and successfully transitioned their advocacy efforts into virtual activities as the New York City budget was being put together in June. Jamil also clarifies the affiliate’s position on “defunding the police,” and their call for investments in social service programs.

Jamil details how NAMI NYC Metro continues to provide education and support during the pandemic and highlights some of their unique programs and community forums including their new “Black Minds Matter” support group.”

Jamil Hamilton, NAMI-NYC Public Policy and Advocacy Manager interviewed by Matthew Shapiro of NAMI-New York State.

NAMI-NYS Perspectives Episode 31: Jamil Hamilton

COVID-19 and the Impact on Communities of Color

Dr. Rheeda Walker, psychologist, professor, researcher, and author of the recently published book “The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health”

COVID-19 and the Impact on Communities of Color

Dr. Rheeda Walker, psychologist, professor, researcher, and author of recently published "The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health"

We strive to tell the stories of all people who are impacted by mental illness.  Throughout July in particular, we purposefully highlight voices of people of color.  Please look for these stories on our social.  If you aren’t already, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Black Minds Matter support group for people who identify as Black

Black Minds Matter

Peer support for people who identify as Black and are living with mental illness or any mental health condition. Every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, 6 to 7:30pm.

Connect via Zoom

Apoyo Para Familiares

Apoyo, intercambio de estrategias de afrontamiento, y la información práctica para los familiares y amigos de personas con alguna enfermedad mental. Este grupo de apoyo se ofrece la oportunidad de: Proporcionar información para hacer frente; Hablar libremente sin temor a ser juzgado; Compartir lo que ayuda, lo que no, y hablar de la vida en general.

El cuarto jueves de cada mes desde 6-7:30pm.

Enlace para unirse: Zoom

O puede llamar usando este número (no se requiere acceso a Internet): 646-558-8656

Cuando se le solicite, ingrese el ID de la reunión: 842 2821 7165, contraseña: 544885

Disponible de forma remota por nuestro afiliado asociado en Santa Cruz, California – NAMI Santa Cruz County >>

El primer y tercer martes desde 9:30-10:30pm.

Enlace para unirse: Zoom

O puede llamar usando este número (no se requiere acceso a Internet): 669-900-9128

Cuando se le solicite, ingrese el ID de la reunión: 138 331 612

The Advocacy Group (TAG)

TAG is open to family members, providers, and people living with mental illness – everyone who is interested in advocating to better their own situation, and the situation-at-large. Learn through monthly experts from-the-field speakers, who educate on resources, problem-solving, and insight into how the system is set up. Through a round-table exchange of issues, attendees become empowered to make change and improve their lives.

July brings a bright and motivating force from mental health advocate, pastor, and published author, Lady Charmaine Day.

Over a decade ago, she had a high pressure corporate job which triggered eleven hospitalizations, a serious diagnosis, and a medication regimen that didn’t work.

But it also unlocked the secret that has changed her life, that even her advanced degrees from both Columbia and Cornell could not bring her.

Lady Charmaine Day will share the dynamic of how self-care and self-love, and developing mind body and spirit wellness works “to transform the dark days of low self-esteem and self-hatred.”

Join us as Lady Charmaine Day brings a positive message to all of us at this trying time.

Strength Over Silence: Stories Of Courage, Culture And Community

In this three-part docuseries, NAMI explores unique perspectives on mental health from the African-American and Latino communities. Through candid and courageous stories of lived experience, these mental health champions share their journeys of resiliency and recovery.

Barbershop Confessions in the Big Easy

Meet Lorenzo Lewis, founder of The Confess Project, and learn how he uses barbershops across America as platforms to start conversation and spread hope and healing in the black community.

Discovering My Superpower

This piece features NAMI Ambassador A.J. Mendez, author, advocate and former WWE wrestler. Hear her advice to Latino families and how she believes her bipolar disorder is her superpower.

The Safe Place

After uncovering myths about mental illness in her community, mental health advocate Jasmin Pierre created a “Safe Place” where the black community can access culturally inspired information and support.

Let us know how we can help. Please contact the Helpline at 212-684-3264 or email us.