Did you know that July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month? This observance began in 2008 in honor of Bebe Moore Campbell, a noted author and mental health advocate. Campbell published books such as “Sometimes, My Mother Gets Angry” about a young girl who learns to deal with her mother’s bipolar disorder and “72 Hour Hold,” which is believed to have been inspired by Campbell’s own daughter, actress Maia Campbell, who suffered from mental illness.
An article by Joshunda Sanders of NewsWireHouston.com highlights the low levels of mainstream media coverage on the mental health issues within the African-American community. Sanders draws attention to the recent reports of Rudy Eugene, the man who chewed off the face of a homeless man in Miami, and the death of Don Cornelius who’s legacy was highlighted more than the health issues leading to his suicide.
She also writes about the lack of identification of African-American celebrity’s issues such as the media’s reporting of Laker’s player, Metta World Peace, formally known as Ron Artest as they mocked his condition rather than trying to understand it. World Peace, himself, has spoken publicly of his search for professional help.
“That history plays out in mainstream media coverage, but it also affects public discussions about mental health because it has so often been used to justify exclusion, segregation and inequality,” states David J. Leonard, author of “After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness” and associate professor of Washington State University under the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies.
Read the complete article from NewsWireHouston.com
Do you feel that mental health still lies toward the bottom of media coverage within the Black community?