Top 20 US Mental Health Organizations (Part 2)

In a recent post, I listed the first 10 of my personal list of 20 top US-based mental health organizations. Now, let’s go over the other 10 organizations comprising the rest of the list.

As I mentioned before, my informal criteria for including an organization on the list are: a) being well-established and credible; b) having goals of education and raising awareness; c) having a well-organized website with extensive resource links.

Also, as with the first half of the list, the organizations aren’t ranked, just listed in alphabetical order.

11) The Kennedy Forum – Established by former US Representative Patrick Kennedy, the Kennedy Forum has several ambitious goals, including increased access to effective mental health care and improved quality of care. The Forum employs a public policy advocacy and coalition-building focus to achieve these initiatives, as well as providing numerous useful resource materials.

12) Mental Health America – MHA focuses on the goal of overall wellness through leading mentally healthier lives. They emphasize prevention and early identification of mental health issues, and have an active network of affiliated chapters nationwide. Their advocacy, education and awareness programs are noteworthy, as is their annual “Mental Health Month” campaign.

13) National Alliance on Mental Illness – One of the largest and best known mental health organizations, NAMI offers outstanding education, advocacy and support programs. Their ‘Family to Family’ education program is an incredible resource for family members of persons affected by mental illness, and their large network of state and local chapters is another huge asset.

14) National Center for PTSD – Administered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Center for PTSD provides professional and consumer resources for the identification and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related conditions. US veterans will also find a locator service for treatment programs within the large VA system.

15) National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Founded in 1944, NCADD’s mission is “saving lives and helping families recover” from drug and alcohol addiction. Their website is a comprehensive resource for educational materials, treatment and support options, and many other tools for both the person in recovery and for their loved ones.

16) National Eating Disorders Association – NEDA provides advocacy and support for individuals and their families who are affected by eating disorders. They provide links to an impressive array of support networks, treatment information, and other resources, including an information and referral helpline and an affiliated website where young people can obtain support.

17) National Institute of Mental Health – NIMH is the leading US federal agency for research on mental disorders. Their vision is a world in which mental illness are prevented and cured through a mission of promoting basic and clinical research. The NIMH website provides links to numerous educational and scientific resources, including the latest research updates about mental health conditions.

18) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – SAMHSA, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is a real behemoth in terms of the volume of its resource information. Through a series of science-based publications and countless other online materials, they provide extensive information about almost every aspect of mental health and substance abuse treatment. Their recovery-based toolkits are the gold standard for implementing top-notch mental health programs.

19) Treatment Advocacy Center – The Treatment Advocacy Center strives to eliminate barriers to the treatment of severe mental illness, to promote laws, policies and practices for the delivery of improved psychiatric care and to support the development of innovative treatments for these conditions. They have a very active advocacy network and a strong media presence.

20) The Trevor Project – Described as the “leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24,” The Trevor Project website provides extensive educational resources, a support center, and access to support through a crisis lifeline, plus text and chat options for further assistance.

As I said in my previous post with the first 10 organizations on the list, these groups offer a wealth of useful information to help educate, empower, and support those with mental health conditions and the people who care about them.

Take some time to access these great resources, and feel free to support one or more of these organizations if you want to get more involved.

Here’s a question: What other mental health organizations have you found helpful? Please leave a comment. Also, please subscribe to my blog and feel free to follow me on Twitter, “like” my Facebook page, or connect on LinkedIn. Thanks!

  • dianastinson

    I would not recommend any of these organizations or any mental health organization anywhere… they are there to raise money and provide a pay check to their staff.

    There was no help for my son when he had a non-violent mental breakdown… after contacting all the mental health agencies and organization… local, State, and Federal… everyone gave me another person to contact. Literally pushing the buck.

    He was a disabled mentally ill person who was mistreated because of his temporary breakdown. The non-treatment he received violates the civil rights act and the ADA/Olmstead laws passed by the United States Government. Disabled persons suffering from mental and physical handicaps should receive the same protection under these laws. Instead the police officer took him to jail, the Commonwealth Attorney denied him any bond, and they held him without medication for over 2 months… when he was near death, they sent him to a mental hospital. Everyday, I thank God he survived – most don’t.

  • Diana, thanks so much for your comment. I’m so, so sorry you and your son have gone through these terrible circumstances. It sounds like you have reached out to many resources without finding any helpful assistance. You might check with the folks at treatmentbeforetragedy.org and see if they have any ideas. They are also family members who have endured many difficulties and setbacks within the health care system. I hope you can find some true help and answers.

  • Cat K

    I was just going to mention that I found some great support with Motherless Daughters in college after my mom passed away. But now having recently lost my still quite young (35) fiancé, I haven’t been able to find ANY grief groups that are fitting. They have them for almost every major illness, but for example, it wouldn’t be appropriate in my opinion, for me to join a support group that is for the spouses of Alzheimer’s or Breast Cancer. My story doesn’t relate and I shouldn’t take up their time to talk about something unrelated simply bc it was “as close as I could get”. After searching for 6 months I finally found one at a church in the neighborhood but they don’t take people mid session so I have to wait another month for the next one. You wouldn’t think a grieving spouses support group would be hard to find, but let me tell ya, it’s enough to make you give up your search. I was lucky and found out about them from another member in my DBSA Chapter that I attend. And just for the record, they have been off the charts phenomenal! I will be forever grateful to that group at NWMH. They are well educated on the options and resources, they are helpful and CARING and they don’t let you leave if they sense that you need further direction. They genuinely show concern for me and it’s brought to me to tears (the good kind) more than once. And I had to search far and wide to find them! It was a chain of calls from one org to another. There should be a main, central system from which everyone can start their various journeys to recovery. Besides the broke state or the Feds who are so far removed from the actual tragedy that these people, myself included, are going thru, that they just rattle off every organization within a 10 mile radius of your house regardless of their function! It’s a travesty and a tragedy that we can have resources that no one can find and that we make it do difficult on those already struggling, just to get help to carry on living some semblance of a normal life. While I was looking for additional resources besides my private psychistrist, my depression became so deep that I had to leave my job and am now losing my home on August 5th. And I promise you, there’s no organization out there to help me turn this around. The system failed me. And God willing I find the strength and courage to go out and try to find s new place, but that’s very difficult when you have SAD & GAD, and have become agoraphobic bc you’ve spent so much time alone, in isolation, that you just don’t trust the world not to kick your #$% the second you walk out the door. I was NEVER like this. I’m not shy. I’m not a homebody. I don’t normally have a fear of crowds or busy streets or packed busses. But after being left to my own devices to figure it out and that taking 4x as long as it should btwn my trouble in just talking to people and then them not having the right information, my self confidence and self esteem vanished as I sat in my apt with no income, contesting SSD, no ELECTRICITY, no food and no family or friends to help, I was denied Assistance for both the food and cash voucher programs in either Chicago or Illinois, I still don’t know. I WAS INVISIBLE. MY WELFARE DID NOT MATTER. At least not to the ones with the purse strings or access to relevant and helpful information. I’m ashamed to admit that during those few weeks I actually contemplated suicide. That we as a country could be do irresponsible with this knowledge and Assistance that it would drive a once fully functioning young woman to think about taking her own life, it’s shameful. I’m just grateful that a neighbor who knew about such things noticed she hadn’t seen me and stopped by to check on me and that led me to the DBSA which quite honestly, probably saved my life. And I’m STILL not out of the thick of it now that no consideration was given in court to my disabilities or resources and I am being forced out of my apt of the last 6 years bc although I couldn’t prove it, the landlord didn’t want to rent to someone on disability. I know this isn’t why I initially wrote in, but after seeing Diana’s post it brought back my frustrations with the process and just how broken it is. In determined to get better just so I can get back out into society and sort this mess out so that no one ever has to feel as I have felt and been made to feel during a critical crisis in my life. My heart goes out to Diana and her son. What they endured should have been front page news but mental illness is just starting to find it’s voice in this society. Until very very recently, we WERE all invisible. And that should be a crime. Rant over. Thank you for your efforts to increase awareness about MH issues and giving the chance at life back to what amounts to I believe, 20% of our population.

  • Cat,
    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I can certainly see you have had many, many challenges and I’m so sorry you are at this very difficult point right now. I’m not familiar with the specific resources in your area, but I wonder if your local NAMI chapter might have some folks there who have been through some of the same things you are going through and might be able to offer ideas to help with your current issues. I’m hoping things will begin to improve for you very soon!
    David

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