By Valerie Denis
Looking back at the past month of support and collaboration, it is unbelievable how much was accomplished in July alone. NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates, members and allies across the country took on the challenges of mental health conditions in minority populations. Passion, creativity, partnership and an unwavering dedication to raising awareness about disparities were the hallmarks of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (NMMHAM). I’m excited to spotlight a few of the various July events, big and small, that took place in the spirit of collaboration, equity and hope.
At NAMI’s 2015 National Convention in San Francisco, there were many inspiring and informational multicultural sessions including:
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA), one of NAMI’s national partners, had a strong presence throughout the convention. They helped to support us and demonstrate how NAMI as an organization can expand our reach and build an inclusive movement. The following week, NAMI was proud to participate in AKA’s Leadership Seminar in Chicago where AKA and NAMI members—including NAMI Executive Director, Mary Giliberti—line danced for hours to raise mental health awareness and decrease stigma.
It brings me joy to highlight some of the tireless efforts by NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates to commemorate NMMHAM. Looking at the various types of events they hosted, it’s clear that it can be educational and fun to change the lives of those who need it.
These are just a few of the terrific events that were held nationwide during July. We hope that advocacy and health promotion efforts like these extend beyond the July celebrations into every month until all people the same access and opportunities for recovery and wellness.
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