Black and Blue: Annelle Primm Talks Mental Health For ‘Get Well Wednesday’

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In 2005, her novel “72-Hour Hold” focused on an adult daughter and a family’s experience with the onset of mental illness. It helped educate Americans that the struggle often is not just with the illness, but with the healthcare system as well.

Campbell advocated for mental health education and support among individuals with mental illness and their families of diverse communities. She also co-founded the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) Urban Los Angeles.

Following her death from brain cancer in November 2006, NAMI National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a group of friends got together and began to work on making Campbell’s wish to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and to provide greater education to the broader community.

The group worked with several members of Congress and in May 2008, the House of Representatives passed a bill declaring July “Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.”

Dr. Primm has made a substantial contribution to getting rid of the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues.

A nationally recognized expert on cultural psychiatry and co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders, Primm has lectured and written widely on these topics, including two books, “Black and Blue: Depression in the African American Community” and  “Gray and Blue:  Depression in Older Adults.”

Primm has also organized collaborations of health care practitioners and community health advocates to eliminate disparities in health, mental health, and substance use disorder care and she is a co-founder of All Healers Mental Health Alliance, a multidisciplinary organization, which provides culturally competent responses to the mental health needs of underserved communities affected by disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.

“Many African Americans have gone without needed care,” Primm told The Post, “and when they have sought care it has been at the crisis stage, which is not optimal.”

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