NCHH Supports National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
Media Contact: Christopher Bloom, email@example.com; 443.539.4154
COLUMBIA, MD (July 6, 2023) — The National Center for Healthy Housing is pleased to support National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, observed in July in the United States. The primary goal of the awareness month is to foster dialogue and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health in minority communities. It aims to promote cultural sensitivity, improve access to quality mental health care, and encourage open discussions about mental health within these communities.
The initiative was started by Bebe Moore Campbell, an American author, advocate, and co-founder of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives officially recognized July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.
NCHH will host and participate in outreach and educational activities designed to raise awareness about the importance of living in a healthy housing environment and its significant impact on mental health.
Currently, millions of U.S. homes have moderate to severe physical housing problems, including dilapidated structure; roofing problems; heating, plumbing, and electrical deficiencies; water leaks and intrusion; pests; damaged paint; and high radon gas levels. These conditions are associated with a wide range of health issues, including mental health issues, unintentional injuries, respiratory illnesses such as asthma and radon-induced lung cancer, and lead poisoning. The health and economic burdens from preventable hazards associated within home are considerable and cost billions of dollars.
The correlations between a healthy home environment and mental health are many:
- Reduced stress: Living in a healthy housing environment can contribute to reduced stress levels, which positively affects mental health. Features such as natural light, proper ventilation, and noise reduction can create a calm and soothing atmosphere, promoting relaxation and overall well-being.
- Improved sleep: Adequate housing conditions, including a comfortable and quiet bedroom, can support better sleep quality. Sufficient sleep is crucial for mental health, as it helps regulate mood, enhances cognitive function, and reduces the risk of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
- Enhanced safety: Living in a safe and secure housing environment can alleviate anxiety and promote peace of mind. Secure housing with functional locks, well-maintained infrastructure, and absence of hazards can minimize the risk of accidents or traumatic events, which can significantly impact mental health.
- Increased social connectedness: Healthy housing can provide opportunities for social interaction and community engagement. Living in neighborhoods with accessible public spaces, recreational facilities, and a sense of community can foster social connections, reduce feelings of isolation, and promote positive mental health.
- Supportive physical environment: Housing that supports physical well-being, such as access to clean water, proper sanitation, and adequate space for exercise, can have a positive impact on mental health. Physical health and mental health are closely interconnected, and a healthy living environment can contribute to overall well-being.
- Reduced exposure to environmental toxins: Unhealthy housing conditions, such as poor indoor air quality, exposure to mold, or toxic substances, can negatively affect mental health. Breathing in pollutants or living in environments with harmful substances can lead to cognitive impairments, mood disturbances, and an increased risk of mental health disorders.
- Financial stability: Stable and affordable housing can significantly impact mental health by reducing financial stress and providing a sense of security. When individuals have a stable housing situation and are not burdened by excessive housing costs, they can allocate resources towards other aspects of their well-being, including mental healthcare.
- Access to supportive services: Living in healthy housing communities often provides access to supportive services, such as mental healthcare providers, counseling services, or social programs. Having easy access to these resources can facilitate early intervention, promote mental health awareness, and support individuals in maintaining positive mental well-being.
- Reduced discrimination and stigma: Healthy housing communities that actively promote inclusivity, equality, and a nondiscriminatory environment can positively impact mental health. When individuals feel accepted and valued in their housing environment, it reduces the risk of experiencing stigma or discrimination, which are known contributors to mental health challenges.
- Overall quality of life: Healthy housing contributes to an improved overall quality of life, which can have a direct impact on mental health. When individuals have a safe, comfortable, and supportive living environment, they are more likely to experience greater life satisfaction, positive emotions, and improved mental well-being.
How NCHH Is Supporting National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
The National Center for Healthy Housing is helping to promote National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by amplifying tools and messaging throughout July as well as promoting events from various mental health and healthy homes partners between July 1 and 31. Organizers seeking to have NCHH promote their events should contact Christopher Bloom, NCHH’s communications and marketing manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) is a leading national nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by transforming housing. Since 1992, NCHH has served as a highly regarded and credible change agent, successfully integrating healthy housing advocacy, research, and capacity building under one roof to reduce health disparities nationwide. Follow NCHH on Twitter (@NCHH), Instagram (@nchhorg), or LinkedIn, become a fan on Facebook, or subscribe to NCHH’s YouTube channel.