Mental Health America (MHA)
Mental Health America is the country’s leading nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. The organization provides education and support to all Americans for better mental health; advocates for affordable high quality health care; works to increase the knowledge and resources of schools, businesses and the healthcare system and contributes to research and services focused on prevention and recovery. “Our annual May is Mental Health Month event raises awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental health,” says Steve Vetzner, MHA senior director of media relations.
What does MHA do?
Formerly named The National Mental Health Association, the organization was founded in 1909. The bell image in their logo represents an actual 300 lb. bell, the Mental Health America Bell, which was forged more than 50 years ago with iron chains and shackles that bound people in mental asylums. It is an important reminder of the past and the progress that has been made.
Mental Health America, with more than 320 affiliates nationwide, provides public education and advocacy programs, for example:
- The Campaign for America’s Mental Health, which works nationally and locally through public education and outreach to primary care providers to raise awareness that mental illnesses are common, real and treatable.
- Dialogue for Recovery, which helps patients and their doctors easily identify and communicate about medication side-effects through publications and videos.
- National Depression Screening Day, which operates a toll-free, year-round phone line that allows callers to find free and confidential screening locations in their local areas.
- Mental Health America’s Resource Center, which provides free information on mental health to the public and makes referrals to local mental health services.
- Prevention and recovery programs that include affordable housing, responding to public mental health crises and a consumer supporter technical assistance center
- Other programs that address healthcare reform advocacy, voter empowerment and special programs for the mental health needs of children.
The Mental Health America web site features articles on mental health topics. You can subscribe to receive a quarterly newsletter by email as well as Advocacy Alerts, State News, Mental Health in the Headlines, Policy Updates, and other email newsletters.
Local Mental Health America affiliates provide public education, information and referral, support groups, rehabilitation services, socialization and housing services to those confronting mental health problems and their loved ones. Many also provide family advocate services to parents and children with serious emotional disturbances, mentoring relationships for adults recovering from mental illnesses, and professional education to those working in the mental health field. The national office offers local and state affiliates vital assistance in board development, fundraising plans and program implementation.