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BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month

July 6, 2021

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BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month

Brianna McClendon – Equity & Inclusion Outreach Manager – Institutional Equity & Inclusion

a charcoal drawing of. black woman stretching out on a chair

“Vocal Ripping”
Photo Credit: Christopher Hendricks, Senior – Transportation Design Major, Illustration Minor

Racial trauma is something that has plagued communities of color for decades. Research has shown that trauma can be passed down through generations and can even rewire your DNA. Mental health is something that is often overlooked, especially when it comes to communities of color, but Bebe Campbell Moore fought to change that. BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month was created by Bebe Moore Campbell, a passionate author, journalist, mental health advocate, and activist for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.

Originally named Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and it was officially recognized in June 2008. Mental Health America puts on an educational campaign every month, and this month the theme is – strength in communities. There are many barriers that these communities face when it comes to gaining access to mental health care, but there is a lot of push to change that. This month is to recognize the mental health disparities and challenges Black, Brown and Indigenous community faces, and what can be done to educate, spread empathy and build solidarity. To read about what MHA is doing and how you can continue your support, read about the theme here – National BIPOC Mental Health Month.

Focus, Bri
by Brianna McClendon

Tap, tap.
Grind, grind.
Your jaw is clenched, sis.

“I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”
Shiver, shiver.
Shake, shake.
Stop biting your nails.

“I’m sorry, I forgot. What I was talking about?”
Spin, spin.
Pace, pace.
What was I doing again?

“I’m worried about your memory.”
Crack, crack.
Bend, bend.
We went over budget, again.

“You don’t listen when I talk to you.”
Scroll, scroll.
Scroll while walking.
Scroll while talking.

It’s been two hours. 
Silence, silence.
Yell, yell.

Why am I even upset?

“What was I doing?”
“I don’t remember.”
“I regret buying this.”
“It’s 2am, I need to sleep.”

“Concentrate.”
      “Focus.”
           “Stop.”