Pittsburgh – In recognition of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in July, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania will be highlighting diverse experiences and perspectives to showcase how culture, race, and background impact mental health.
“Diversity has always been a priority of ours,” said Christine Michaels, CEO of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania. “But recent events across our country have given all of us a reason to reexamine the systemic racism that exists in our society and how it impacts the mental health of African Americans and the racial trauma experienced by African American children, youth, and families.”
On June 26, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors held an emergency meeting to unanimously approve a resolution condemning racism.
The resolution reads, “NAMI Keystone PA represents the interests of all people with mental health conditions, regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, language, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or gender identity…NAMI Keystone PA condemns all acts of prejudice and discrimination whether individual, institutional or structural, and regardless of whether by intent, ignorance, or insensitivity.”
“We felt that it was very important for us to have an official statement against racism,” said Michaels. “The board was behind it 100 percent and it gives us a formal foundation for our commitment to address issues regarding race and mental health.”
The resolution is similar to the one passed by the national office on June 17. In an email announcing NAMI’s resolution, CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., said, “We must not simply condemn racism and call it a day. NAMI, in order to fulfill our mission, must be actively anti-racist. To that end, we must continue to fight to eliminate the mental health disparities perpetuated by racism and racial discrimination. We must continue to spread awareness about the negative psychological, social, educational and economic effects caused by racism. We must continue to work to provide culturally competent services to those experiencing a mental health condition and to those who love them."
Throughout the month of July, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania will use social media to feature articles, resources, blogs, and interviews that address minority mental health and the importance of recognizing how racism impacts stigma and access to treatment and resources.
MEDIA CONTACT: Maria Kakay, Dir. of Communications and Marketing, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania | EMAIL:firstname.lastname@example.org | OFFICE: 412-366-3788 | CELL: 412-607-5412
ABOUT NAMI KEYSTONE PENNSYLVANIA | NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is the state organization in Pennsylvania for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the largest grassroots mental health organization in the country. NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, adolescents, adults, and families affected by mental illness through recovery-focused support, education, and advocacy. More information is available atwww.namikeystonepa.orgor by calling (412) 366-3788.
NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is here for you. If you have questions about mental health resources, call our HelpLine at 1-888-264-7972 or email email@example.com. For crisis support 24/7, text NAMI to 741741. To find the NAMI affiliate in Pennsylvania closest to you, click here.