African American Wellness Project Acknowledges Mental Health Awareness Month Continues to Urge for Mental Health Awareness Efforts and Supporting  the Black Community


African American Wellness Project Acknowledges Mental Health Awareness Month
Continues to Urge for Mental Health Awareness Efforts and Supporting  the Black Community


Oakland, CA, May 11, 2022 — May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the African American Wellness Project (AAWP) is continuing to bring this issue to the forefront and urge for mental health awareness efforts and support in the Black community through its’ Mental Health Awareness Initiative.

This month President Biden issued a Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and its impact on the well-being of all Americans, including children, adults, families, and communities across our Nation, thank dedicated mental health providers whose service and support improve the lives of so many Americans and stand in solidarity with those who are experiencing mental health conditions.

The proclamation states that even before the pandemic, millions of Americans were experiencing stress, trauma, anxiety, and heightened levels of depression.  “The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated those conditions, creating an unprecedented mental health crisis across our country. Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted, and the rate of depression across the country has more than tripled compared to rates in 2019. Despite these disturbing trends, less than half of Americans struggling with mental illness receive the treatment they need — even fewer within Black and Brown communities.”

Further, new data from the CDC shows that the overall suicide rate in the United States declined during the COVID-19 pandemic however, suicide deaths for young adult males and people of color increased. Additionally, according to the American Psychological Association Black youth in the U.S. experience more illness, poverty, and discrimination than their white counterparts putting them at higher risk for depression and other mental health problems, yet are less likely to seek treatment.

Founded by Dr. Michael LeNoir in 2002, The African American Wellness Project (AAWP) has brought minority health and wellness to the forefront through its work empowering African Americans to improve health outcomes and providing trusted health and wellness information and advocacy.

AAWP kicked off a Mental Health Initiative, in March 2022, with a panel discussion held in Oakland California: Black Men Don’t Cry. The full panel discussion can be accessed here. This Initiative consists of: wellness checking on our website for depression and stress, a social media campaign destigmatizing treatment for mental health issues, focus groups among black psychiatrists and mental health providers about how to best screen for mental health issues among this populations, and making related resources available.

“African Americans experience anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental health issues at a higher rate than other races,” stated AAWP Founder and CEO Dr. Michael LeNoir. “Medical professionals must prioritize this issue, and we must also remove the stigma of seeking treatment. I encourage those in need to seek help and visit the AAWP website for information and resources and together we can bridge the mental health disparity gap in the U.S..“

About AAWP

Founded in 2002, the African American Wellness Project (AAWP) was formed to respond to health disparities in the African American community and is dedicated to health equity and better health outcomes for people of color.  Visit for more information.

For More Information on the African American Wellness Project, contact:

Monique Pittman

Executive Director