July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was founded in 2008 to bring
awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in
regard to mental illness in the United States (US). 

While the term ‘minority’ is traditionally associated
with racial, ethnic, or cultural minorities within the US, Mental
Health America (MHA) recognizes that identifying as a minority means
identifying with a multitude of different experiences and traits. MHA
understands that mental health issues need to be addressed with a
unique lens when working with individuals and families with diverse
values, beliefs, and sexual orientations, in addition to backgrounds
that vary by race, ethnicity, religion, and language. 

We are complex beings that can’t be categorized into neat
little boxes – and neither should our experiences. 

However, there are shared misconceptions among many minority and/or
marginalized communities that we must address to change the way we
think about mental illness - especially, when we begin to recognize
that mental illness is often treated as an individual weakness, or
character flaw, among these populations. 

This July, MHA’s Minority Mental Health Month campaign,
#NotACharacterFlaw will explore stories told by individuals who
identify as part of a minority community about their experiences with
mental illness and recovery. We hope that sharing these stories will
encourage underrepresented communities to speak out about how mental
illness affects them and remove the stigma associated with these
conditions. 

MHA believes in the power of storytelling - that all people have a
right to speak out about their experiences with mental health. 

This month, we want to encourage everyone to share their stories -
especially as it relates to different cultures and backgrounds –
and learn more about how cultural and institutional stressors can
affect mental health. 

Share your story on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using
#NotACharacterFlaw.