Honoring National Minority Mental Health Month: Essential Reads on System Involvement and BIPOC Mental Health

Honoring National Minority Mental Health Month: Essential Reads on System Involvement and BIPOC Mental Health

As we observe National Minority Mental Health Month this July, it's crucial to bring attention to the unique mental health challenges faced by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) young adults, particularly those involved in systems like foster care and the juvenile justice system. These systems can have profound effects on mental health, often exacerbating existing issues and creating new ones. To foster understanding and support ( especially for those are just starting) with learning more, we've curated a list of insightful books available at our bookstore that delve into these experiences and their lasting impact.

"The Hate U Give"

by Angie Thomas

This powerful novel tells the story of Starr Carter, a 16-year-old girl who witnesses the police shooting of her best friend. The book explores themes of systemic racism, trauma, and the complexities of navigating multiple identities, highlighting the impact of violence and systemic oppression on mental health.

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"Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools"

by Monique W. Morris

Monique W. Morris examines how policies and practices in schools criminalize Black girls, pushing them out of the education system and into the juvenile justice system. This book sheds light on the systemic issues that contribute to mental health struggles among Black girls, emphasizing the need for supportive and inclusive environments.

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"The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row"

by Anthony Ray Hinton

Anthony Ray Hinton's memoir recounts his experience of being wrongfully convicted and spending 30 years on death row. His story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and offers insights into the psychological impact of incarceration and the systemic injustices faced by many in the BIPOC community.

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"Black Liturgies: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Staying Human"

by Cole Arthur Riley

Cole Arthur Riley’s collection offers a rich tapestry of prayers, poems, and meditations that speak to the resilience and humanity of Black individuals. This book provides a source of spiritual and emotional sustenance, offering comfort and strength for those navigating the mental health challenges imposed by systemic injustices.

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"Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood"

by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah's autobiography recounts his experiences growing up as a mixed-race child in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. His story provides a poignant look at the lasting impacts of systemic racism and the mental health challenges that come with navigating a divided society.

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The Impact of System Involvement on BIPOC Young Adults

System involvement, whether through foster care or the juvenile justice system, often exacerbates mental health issues for BIPOC young adults. These systems can be sources of trauma, instability, and discrimination, which contribute to higher rates of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Understanding these impacts is crucial for providing appropriate support and advocating for systemic change.


Why This Matters

National Minority Mental Health Month is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote understanding of the mental health challenges faced by minority communities. By educating ourselves through these powerful narratives and analyses, we can better support BIPOC young adults and advocate for systems that nurture rather than harm.


What We Are Doing at More Than Words

We are deeply committed to supporting the mental health and well-being of our young adults and understand what that means, particularly for those in the BIPOC community. We recognize the significant impact that system involvement can have on their lives and strive to create a nurturing and empowering work environment, enabling them to take charge of their lives.

Our approach to job-training is trauma-informed and person-centered. We equip our staff with the skills and understanding needed to address the unique challenges our young adults face while they work simultaneously providing job-training for their next steps. We believe a workplace that emphasizes empathy, support, and resilience is one where every individual can feel valued and heard. By fostering a culture of care and inclusivity, we aim to not only support the mental health of our staff but also to empower them to thrive both personally and professionally.

Visit our store to explore titles like those above and more – we ask you to join us in efforts to  educate ourselves and work towards a more equitable and supportive community.



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