Celebrating Bebe Moore Campbell

Thu, 07/29/2021 – 09:29

MHA’s affiliates across the country make a big impact in their communities. Every affiliate is a unique organization providing programs that best serve community needs. Mental Health Connecticut is headquartered in West Hartford and serves the people of Connecticut.

By Jacquilyn Davis, DEI & Engagement Coordinator, Mental Health Connecticut, Inc.

Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was formally recognized  in 2008, thanks to the tireless advocacy of nearly 100 individuals who co-sponsored a Congressional resolution to bring awareness to the unique struggles minority communities face along their mental health journeys. Bebe spearheaded this movement and after she passed away in 2006, her fellow advocates took it forward to passage two years later. Bebe’s legacy is evident in the dedication of those who fought to create this month of awareness in her name and continue to celebrate and honor her lifetime of accomplishments. 

Mental health is something we all have in common. How we choose to care for our personal mental health and the options we have available for care are not things we all have in common. The cultural stigma, access to care, and availability of mental health resources create gaps in the system and they are some of the many reasons why Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is so important. We must talk about these gaps, address them, and create a more equitable society to ensure everyone can care for their mental well-being, regardless of their racial identity. 

Bebe was a phenomenal writer, speaker, teacher, and published author of plays, novels, articles, and children’s books. She was dedicated to mental health awareness and was a founding member of NAMI-Inglewood (now NAMI Urban Los Angeles). She was an advocate for minority mental health and openly spoke about the stigma minorities face when confronted with the decision to seek treatment for a mental health condition. She spoke of the unique barriers in minority communities and bravely addressed the fact that racism is trauma. As many are currently joining forces to declare racism a public health crisis, I wonder what role Bebe would play in seeing it become a national declaration. 

I’d like to think that Bebe would advocate for the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act, reintroduced in 2021 to create a National Center on Antiracism and Health at the CDC, create a law enforcement violence prevention program, and nationally declare racism as a public health crisis. If passed, funding would be available for research and data collection on the impact of racism on physical and mental health as well as anti-racist public health interventions. 

Bebe is remembered as a devoted advocate for minority mental health. 

“We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans,” she said,“It is not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.” She used her platform as a writer and her work with NAMI to spread messages of hope, resilience, and breaking the stigma within minority communities. 

Bebe’s legacy and commitment to minority mental health lives on in her published works. “72 Hour Hold” was a revolutionary novel that openly spoke about mental health struggles within the black community. While fiction, the story was based on her personal experiences with mental health conditions within her own family. “Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry” is a children’s book that shows how community care is utilized to help a young girl cope when her mother, who has bipolar disorder, is having difficult days. 

According to Mental Health America, “Community care refers to ways in which communities of color have provided support to each other. This can include things such as mutual aid, peer support, and healing circles.” In the book, the young girl turns to her grandmother and friends for support. In Bebe’s dedication she states, “I dedicate this book to all children whose mommies struggle with mental illness, addiction, or both and pray that the village will support them.” An advocate and storyteller, Bebe used her talents to make a lasting impact on the mental health community.

I personally admire Bebe’s sense of purpose and how she was able to motivate others to be better while also acknowledging that journey for herself. “As I grow older, part of my emotional survival plan must be to actively seek inspiration instead of passively waiting for it to find me.” Her words resonate with my own journey for improving my mental well-being. 

On this journey, I have been seeking my identifying traits that describe the mixed woman I am today. Born a minority in my community, I still identify with the word within the appropriate context. Being mixed, I am a minority. While Census data shows a shift in the once “minority” group becoming the “majority” in our lifetime, I don’t seem to fit within their guidelines of non-white vs. white. My Blackness, my Whiteness, my Native American ancestry all make up who I am. 

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been labeled, misidentified, forced into boxes, and told who I am by other people. “Your dad is Black so that makes you Black.” “Black on the outside, White on the inside – you’re an Oreo.” “Are you sure you’re not adopted?” “You’re Puerto Rican, right?” A wise man once told me that it’s not about what they call you, what matters is who you answer to. 

As a mixed woman I have struggled with the labels that place my identity against itself. I am not BIPOC, nor am I a person of the global majority. I am who Bebe was fighting for – a minority. I’m proud to honor and celebrate her month this July with a community that continues what she has fought for – bringing awareness to minority mental health. 

No matter how you identify, this month is for all of us to learn about each other’s unique mental health journeys. I encourage you to seek inspiration this month in the differences we have in approaching mental health care. For additional resources and information on Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, visit https://www.mhanational.org/BIPOC-mental-health-month or the additional source links below.







Jacquilyn is a mission-driven individual with 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She became the first DEI & Engagement Coordinator at Mental Health Connecticut in 2021 though her journey into JEDI work has been a lifelong one. She has a passion for learning American history, practicing cultural humility, and is committed to being an antiracist. Jacquilyn lives in Portland, CT with her partner of 12 years. To connect with Jacquilyn on LinkedIn, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacquilyn-davis-4007471a.  


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The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Burn Victim
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…


Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: