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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 19, 2018 04:36 PM
From: Representative Donna Bullock and Rep. Morgan Cephas
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship: Resolution that designates the month of May 2018 as “Mental Health Awareness in the Black Community Month” in Pennsylvania

In the near future, we plan to introduce a Resolution that designates the month of May 2018 as “Mental Health Awareness in the Black Community Month” in Pennsylvania in conjunction with the 2018 Black Brain Campaign.

As you know, persistent racial inequality and race-based exclusion in the United States has translated into continuing mental health disparities among African-Americans and a continuing mental healthcare gap. Statistics indicate that African-Americans are disproportionately affected by serious psychological distress and mental health disorders with only an estimated 25% of African-Americans seeking access to mental health services while 40% of individuals from other racial groups seek care. Further, according to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.

As a result of these alarming statistics, in 2016, the Black Brain Campaign was established to help strengthen families within the African-American community. Over the last two years, the Black Brain Campaign prompted Philadelphia area clinicians to explore mental health reforms for African-Americans. The Campaign also included assistance from school and community based counselors, mental health professionals, health care providers, social service providers, health policy experts, and mental health advocates.

With that said, it is for these reasons and more that we are offering this Resolution to bring awareness to this issue within the African-American communities across our great Commonwealth. As such, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Rep. Bullock’s Harrisburg office at (717) 787-3480.

Introduced as HR874