July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

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For those of you who didn’t know July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.  It is my belief now more than ever that it is important to recognize how mental health is affecting minority populations. Many people today live with undiagnosed mental illness and there are some with diagnoses that are not receiving treatment. No matter if you or one of your loved ones suffer from mental illness there is something that we all can do, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month.

Presented as a bill to the House of Representatives in 2008 by Representative Albert Wynn from Maryland, the bill aimed to not only formally recognize July as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, the bill also sough to enhance public awareness of mental illness and specifically mental illness among minorities and improve access to mental health treatment and services and to increase public awareness of mental illness.  This bill sought to further the advocacy and information that was being shared by noted author and mental health advocate and survivor Bebe Moore Campbell.

Bebe Moore Campbell quote

Bebe Moore Campbell, the late author, mental health advocate and co-founder of National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI,  was a proponent of  July being recognized as the month were minority mental health should be highlighted. Campbell, who suffered from mental illness herself was very outspoken about her journey as well as the importance of eliminating family stigma and quality care. More than access to care, the purpose of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month has been being able to be open about mental illness and removing the stigmas attached to having mental illness. While it has been almost 10 years since Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was recognized by Congress there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done in the areas of mental health and mental health awareness.

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The statistics are staggering; 1 in 10 children and 1 in 5 adults suffer from mental illness in America.  1in 10 children! Even more alarming than the numbers is that fact that the majority of persons living with mental illness in the United States will not seek any type of treatment. Even now minorities are less likely to get the diagnosis and treatment the need. They are also less likely to have access to mental health services and have mental health services available to them. Often when the do have access to and receive care it is of a subpar quality compared to majority populations.

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The facts and the statistics surrounding minority mental health are staggering. 1 in 10 children in the United States is affected by mental illness. There are thousands of people living with mental illness that are going treated and worse yet undiagnosed. Those who often need mental health services the most do not have access to those services. Everyone may not be able to do the same thing, but we can all do something.

Mental health 2As single professional women, many of us have been affected by mental illness, or either someone in our family or someone we know has been affected by mental illness. Many of us have ourselves been treated or need to be treated for mental health issues.  The sad truth of the matter is that many people suffer in silence.  This needs to become the exception and no longer the rule. Below is a list showing you signs that someone you know may need help.

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If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health know that there are organizations out there who can and will help. We do not have to suffer in silence. Let us all do what we can to assist others in fighting their battle with mental illness.

mmh-Facebook-CoverResources:

NAMI.org

SAMHSA

Minorityhealth.hhs.gov

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Prayer for Self Love

I would like to thank Brenda Summerville for posting this beautiful reminder today.  I want to share it.

FouragreementsdefinedPrayer for Self Love

By Don Miguel Ruiz

Today, Creator of the Universe, we ask that you help us to accept ourselves just the way we are, without judgement. Help us to accept our mind the way it is, with all our emotions, our hopes and dreams, our personality, our unique way of being. Help us to accept our body just the way it is, with all its beauty and perfection. Let the love we have for ourselves be so strong that we never again reject ourselves or sabotage our happiness, freedom, and love.

From now on, let every action, every reaction, every thought, every emotion, be based on love. Help us, Creator, to increase our self-love until the entire dream of our life is transformed, from fear and drama to love and joy. Let the power of our self-love be strong enough to break all the lies we were programmed to believe – all the lies that tell us we are not good enough, or strong enough, or intelligent enough, that we cannot make it. Let the power of our self-love be so strong that we no longer need to live our life according to other people’s opinions. Let us trust ourselves completely to make the choices we must make. With our self-love, we are no longer afraid to face responsibility in our life or face any problems and resolve them as they arise. Whatever we want to accomplish, let it be done with the power of our self-love.

Starting today, help us to love ourselves so much that we never set up any circumstances that go against us. We can live our life being ourselves and not pretending to be someone else just to be accepted by other people. We no longer need other people to accept us or tell us how good we are because we know what we are. With the power of our self-love, let us enjoy what we see every time we look in the mirror. Let there be a big smile on our face that enhances our inner and outer beauty. Help us feel such intense self-love that we always enjoy our own presence.

Let us love ourselves without judgement, because when we judge, we carry blame and guilt, we have the need for punishment, and we lose the perspective of your love. Strengthen our will to forgive ourselves in this moment. Clean our minds of emotional poison and self-judgments so we can live in complete peace and love.

Let our self-love be the power that changes the dream of our life. With this new power in our hearts, the power of self-love, let us transform every relationship we have with ourselves. Help us to be free of any conflict with others. Let us be happy to share our time with our loved ones and to forgive them for any injustice we feel in our mind. Help us to love ourselves so much that we forgive anyone who has ever hurt us in our life.

Give us the courage to love our family and friends unconditionally, and to change our relationships in the most positive and loving way. Help us to create new channels of communication in our relationships so there is no war of control, there is no winner or loser. Together let us work as a team for love, for joy, for harmony.

Let our relationships with our family and friends be based on respect and joy so we no longer have the need to tell them how to think or how to be. Let our romantic relationship be the most wonderful relationship; let us feel joy every time we share ourselves with our partner. Help us to accept others just the way they are, without judgment, because when we reject them, we reject ourselves. When we reject ourselves, we reject You.

Today is a new beginning. Help us to start our life over beginning today with the power of self-love. Help us to enjoy our life, to enjoy our relationships, to explore life, to take risks, to be alive, and to no longer live in fear of love. let us open our heart to the love that is our birthright. Help us become Masters of Gratitude, Generosity, and Love so that we can enjoy all of your creations forever and ever. Amen.

For more of Don Miguel Ruiz check out some of his writings such as The Four Agreements (one of my favorites).

 

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous

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