Amanda Wong

National Mental Health Awareness Month

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month, formerly recognized as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Inspired by the vision and advocacy of author Bebe Moore Campbell to educate and provide tools for the overall improvement of BIPOC Mental Health and well-being of individuals and communities of color. 

On June 2, 2008, a bipartisan and bicameral Congress recognized formally recognized the month of July as Bebe Moore Campbell National MinorityMental Health Awareness Month.

As we seek to provide education and tools for the overall betterment of BIPOC mental health, we must not ignore how and where this started: in the hands of a woman wanting a better experience for her child living with mental illness. July would not be dedicated to the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities of color if it were not for the tireless work of Bebe, her loved ones, and other mental health advocates who took on this work after she passed away in 2006.

Bebe Moore Campbell was a pioneer and an author, who used storytelling to give insight into the people that deserved more of a voice – Black women, caregivers of those with mental health conditions, Black individuals living with mental health conditions, and all people of color. Over the course of her life, Bebe took on several roles, including mother, activist, writer, daughter, commentator, friend, and teacher. Bebe’s legacy continues to inspire a national movement for mental health equity. The movement continues today as we focus on the creation of a health justice ecosystem grounded in effective care, universal compassion, cultural humility, and the use of appropriate mental health interventions instead of harmful criminal legal interventions.

A new analysis report from KFF found that suicide death rates increased by 12 percent in the decade from 2010 to 2020 — with death rates rising fastest among people of color, younger individuals, and people who live in rural areas. Among people of color, the highest increase in suicide death rates was among Black people (43% increase), followed by American Indian or Alaska Natives (41%), and Hispanic people (27%). As of 2020, American Indian and Alaska Native people had the highest suicide death rate, at 23.9 per 100,000 people – substantially higher than the rate for White people (16.8 per 100,000 people). Suicide death rates for Black, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander people were all less than half the rate for White people. In response to this crisis, on July 16, 2022, the Federal government will launch a newly mandated 988, which will be available to all landline and cellphone users. This three-digit number will provide access to over 200 local and state funded crisis hotline networks and centers. 988 callers experiencing Mental Health and/or Suicidal crises will be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline where they’ll receive access to a crisis counselor, receive counseling, referrals, resources, and in some cases, mobile crisis unit in areas where it is available. To learn more about this report and the new 988 number, click here.

Long-Term Care Month

west oakland health - long term care

National Long-Term Care Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in November. Did you know that 70% of men and women over the age of 65 will need some kind of long-term care service? This kind of care can be very expensive and can take a toll on the family as they try to figure out payment, roles of family members, and other logistics of making long-term decisions for a loved one. When taking care of someone long-term, it usually means feeding them, helping with personal care, bathing them, and helping with other daily tasks. Let’s come together to recognize National Long-Term Care Awareness Month and show support to those giving and receiving long-term care. Here’s a list of statistics surrounding long-term care in the United States.

  • 78% of adults who are getting long-term care at home rely solely on family and friends for their assistance
  • The average caregiver is a woman around 46 years of age
  • On average, the caregiver spends about 21 hours per week assisting their patient or family member
  • Over 90% of family caregivers had to alter their work schedule permanently because of caring for their loved one
  • Around 40% of caregivers have had to switch from working full-time to part time
  • Close to half said they had to skip vacation and other personal activities in order to take adequate care of their loved one
  • 29% had to use their own money to provide care
  • More than 10% had to move in order to be closer to their family member in need of care
  • Around 10% had to take a pay cut at their full-time job

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance found national Long-Term Care Awareness Month in 2001. Their goal is to get people to focus on long-term care awareness and have a plan ready for themselves as they are near age 65.

West Oakland Health Council Air Filter Event

The West Oakland Health Council, in partnership with the Air District’s Clear Air Filtration Program, will deliver units to residents diagnosed with asthma, emphysema, COPD, or other respiratory illnesses.

The program also works to teach residents the optimal placement, usage, and maintenance of the filtration units for wildfires in the future.

The West Oakland Health Council, in partnership with the Air District’s Clear Air Filtration Program, will deliver units to residents diagnosed with asthma, emphysema, COPD, or other respiratory illnesses.

The program also works to teach residents on the optimal placement, usage, and maintenance of the filtration units for wildfires in the future.

COVID-19 Vaccine: What White Conservatives Can Learn from Black Americans

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“In November 2020, news broke about the successful development of the first vaccines against COVID-19 and people began to debate whether or not they would be inoculated. As Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the leaders of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sought to distribute information to diminish fears about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, and most importantly, its crucial necessity in halting the pandemic; virulent misinformation about the virus and the safety of the injection was spreading rapidly across social media. In the United States alone, COVID-19 has killed nearly 600,000 and sickened more than 33,340,000.

One group that was understandably hesitant about receiving the vaccine was Black Americans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in December 2020, 52% of Black Americans said they would take a wait-and-see approach to the vaccine with only 20% saying that they wanted to be vaccinated as soon as possible. In comparison, skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine was lower in white (36%) and Latino populations (43%). This was particularly concerning since according to the CDC, Black Americans were 2.9 times more likely to require hospitalization for COVID-19 and 1.9 times more likely to die from the disease than white Americans….”

Read the Full Article

See Also:

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Community-Academic Partnerships to Address Covid-19 Inequities: Lessons from the San Francisco Bay Area

“A coalition of Bay Area community organizations, academic institutions, and public health departments collaborated to provide high-risk populations with Covid-19 testing and vaccination, and also took the opportunity to connect them with other essential services….”

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Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month, a national observance used to raise awareness about health care for men and focus on encouraging boys, men, and their families to practice and implement healthy living decisions, such as exercising and eating healthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die 5 years earlier than women and die at higher rates from the three leading causes of death, heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries. During Men’s Health Month, we encourage men to take control of their health, and for families to teach young boys healthy habits throughout childhood.

June Men's Health Month

World AIDS Vaccine Day

World AIDS Vaccine Day

Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, hundreds of thousands of health professionals, scientists, volunteers, and community members have worked tirelessly to combat AIDS and find an AIDS vaccine. On World AIDS Vaccine Day, May 18th, not only do we give thanks to all those who have worked to fight this disease, but we also honor all the people who have succumbed to the disease. While recent advances for AIDS vaccines have moved the needle and got us closer to a cure, we are not there yet.


The Race for an AIDS Vaccine

There have been many breakthroughs in AIDS treatments, and we are closer than ever to a vaccine, but there is still work to be done. The AIDS virus is unlike other viruses which makes developing a vaccine for it so difficult. Currently, researchers are working on different types of experimental vaccines in the hopes of finding a cure for this deadly disease.

Educating Communities

It is important to continue to educate communities on HIV and AIDS prevention. Educating under-served communities and minority populations is important to preventing HIV. Using proper protection and not sharing needles are just two things you can do to protect yourself against contracting HIV. Donating to the research for an AIDS vaccine also helps in the effort to quickly find a vaccine for the disease.

How to Celebrate World AIDS Vaccine Day

The best way you can celebrate World AIDS Vaccine Day is to not only get the word out to others but also thank those in the health industry who have worked to combat the disease. Post to your personal social media pages announcing this national awareness day and make sure you tag us at Donate on World AIDS Vaccine Day. You can make a donation here. The more awareness people can raise about finding a cure for AIDS, the faster we can find a cure.

For more information on World AIDS Vaccine Day check out this link.