Senate Resolution Establishes July as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
SCR 119 recognizes that minorities utilize mental health services at far lower rates than Caucasians, calls for greater awareness
SACRAMENTO – Senate Concurrent Resolution 119, by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, designates July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Month.
The resolution, which unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature in June, is named for the late Bebe Moore Campbell, who was a celebrated author, advocate, national spokesperson and co-founder of the Urban Los Angeles chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“Just as Ms. Moore Campbell would have hoped, the National Alliance on Mental Illness works every day to break down the stigma of – and provide education on – mental illness,” Hertzberg said. “Truly, in these trying times, we must make sure all people get the assistance and help they need if suffering a mental disorder, no matter what their color or background or income level.”
Greater awareness is needed because African-Americans and Latinos utilize mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasians, and Asian-Americans use mental health services at about one-third the rate. Mental illness is a topic often kept silent across cultures and communities.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 in 5 American adults, or 43 million, suffer a mental disorder and 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 currently have, or previously had, a seriously debilitating mental disorder.
Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map at http://sd18.senate.ca.gov/district. After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through the Think Long Committee of California. Learn more at www.senate.ca.gov/hertzberg.