In May 2008, due to the visionary work of author and advocate Bebe Moore Campbell, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution declaring July as Minority Mental Health Month.
In recent years, the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) has created a new way of envisioning the month, through the lens of intersectionality - Mental Health Liberation Month. BEAM defines Mental Health Liberation Month as “A month where we center liberation with a vision of ending ableism, sanism, racism, transphobia, and all oppression within mental health care. Mental Health Liberation Month expands mental health beyond just talk therapy and medication, naming that dismantling the prison-industrial complex, affirming our diverse wellness practices, access to clean water, healthy food, economic resources, and much more is critical to our mental health.”
Yolo Akili, Founder and CEO of BEAM, explained the reframe in an interview with ETR: “While we will always uplift the labor it took to get Minority Mental Health Month recognized by the late brilliant Bebe Moore Campbell, we wanted to shift the theme of the month away from the tokenism it has become and center liberation, something that benefits all communities and gets us to broaden our vision of what is possible.”
Akili added, “Mental health liberation is about our most bold, radical vision for mental health in this country and what we can do every day to get closer to that dream. Health is one thing; liberation, which includes and expands beyond health, is another.”
Below are a few opportunities to celebrate, make connections, and uplift Mental Health Liberation Month, in July and all year long.
Wednesday, July 20: HeartSpace
BEAM is hosting a “virtual, Black-only peer support and wellness discussion space. Connect. Meditate. Learn. Share.” To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heart-space-tickets-265182025577
Thursday, July 21: Human Rights and Social Justice Framework for Suicide Prevention, Intervention, Postvention
Hosted by Twelve6 Strategies, Inc., this hybrid 1-day summit will be unpacking suicidality, suicide "prevention," “intervention”, and “postvention” critically thinking about suicide from a non-pathological, anti-carceral, Disability Justice framework. We invite you to join us for a solution focused day with three nationally known speakers Ebony Clark, Lacy Dicharry, and Canada Taylor Parker. Register here: https://forms.gle/zxa45kU32eysPbfM7
Saturday, July 23rd, 2022: Take Space, Breathe, Retreat: A Half Day Meditation Retreat for BIPOC, with Lama Rod Owens
Retreats play an important role in deepening our individual practice. They create a unique opportunity to step out of our daily routines to reconnect and care for our innermost selves. Scholarship options available. To register: https://rod-owens.mykajabi.com/half-day-BIPOC-retreat-summer%202022
Resources for further exploration: