Below we have compiled a diverse list of programs and initiatives that can improve mental health literacy.
Active Minds is a national organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. Active Minds seeks to change the culture on campuses and in the community by providing information, leadership opportunities and advocacy training to the next generation. In addition to their national office, there are student-led Active Minds chapters on hundreds of college campuses throughout the country. The Active Minds “Our Programming” page contains links to their awareness campaigns, a suicide prevention initiative (Send Silence Packing), their Speakers Bureau, and more.
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA is the world's largest association of psychologists, with more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members. At the below link you will find a topic board with many topics related to mental health and psychology. Click on a topic to find out more information, including what you can do and how you can find help.
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is the world’s largest psychiatric organization. It is a medical specialty society representing more than 33,000 psychiatric physicians from the United States and around the world. On the "mental health" page you can discover information about various disorders, read mental health factsheets for specific populations, find treatment, learn how to recognize signs of mental illness, and watch videos about stigma. Make sure to enable pop-ups on your browser for best results:
The Bazelon Center
The Bazelon Center envisions an America where people who have mental illnesses or developmental disabilities exercise their own life choices and have access to the resources that enable them to participate fully in their communities. Bazelon’s “Publications” page provides links to valuable information with a heavy focus on legal issues pertaining to mental health. The “Publications” contains a database of mental health-based documents about civil rights, criminal justice, Medicaid, and more.
The Be Heard Project features videos of people sharing their personal experience with mental health struggles. There are effective treatments for many mental health disorders, but due to stigma and lack of understanding many individuals do not seek help. We decided to focus on Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because people with these disorders typically have a hard time getting help.
If you’ve been diagnosed with or have provided treatment for any of these disorders please submit a video of your personal experience. Your unique story helps others anticipate challenges that lay ahead and helps them feel less alone. It also may help you realize how powerful sharing your experience can be. Please, Be Heard.
BestColleges.com recently published a guide about the five important mental health issues that college students face, approaching each in terms of understanding symptoms, recognizing the signs of illness in yourself and others, and how to best get help. You can find the resource here: http://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/top-5-mental-health-problems-facing-college-students/.
child and family connections
Child and Family Connections (CFC) is dedicated to supporting families struggling with parental psychiatric disabilities. Its mission is to help families build trust and communication in ways that promote childhood and family resiliency. As the first and only organization of its kind in the United States, its educational programs and workshops are pioneering creative treatment solutions for a vulnerable and underserved population. CFC is an advocate and trusted resource for families struggling with parental mental illness and a respected leader in the behavioral health community.
The mission of DMAX Foundation is to eliminate stigma and encourage safe and caring conversations about mental health issues and emotional pain in our youth. The foundation facilitates the creation by students of DMAX Clubs on their college campuses. A DMAX Club provides students with a safe place to talk about how they are doing, how their friends are doing, and how they can help each other. It is a place to have Conversations That Matter, along with food and fun activities. It is an environment in which students feel like the can be themselves, where they don’t have to hide, but instead can reach out.
Healthy Minds Philly Initiative
The Healthy Minds Philly Initiative is a website provided by Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services (DBHIDS). Featured on the site are resources for education and health promotion, prevention and early treatment, specialized treatment, and articles about mental health. Also found on the site are links to a mental health screening tool, crisis and resource hotlines, and registration for Mental Health First Aid training (Philadelphia area only).
The Guide to College Student Mental Health helps students and parents identify common mental health disorders, their warning signs, when to seek treatment and how to manage them.
Living With: is the t-shirt endeavor that aims to empower mindsets and inspire pride in individuals living with mental health issues. Each shirt in the collection is printed with a geometric design that represents the behavioral patterns of a specific disorder. Wearing a Living With: shirt is a private-but-public action that encourages self-acceptance, pride, and sparks new conversations about mental health at the wearers discretion. $2 of every shirt is donated to Active Minds, a non-profit organization that encourages college students to talk openly about mental health and highlights resources on campus for those who need help.
Mental Health America
Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is a nonprofit dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives. MHA has 240 affiliates nationwide and represents a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation – everyday and in times of crisis. MHA’s "We Educate" page contains links for information about various conditions, finding treatment, medications, insurance questions, and prescription payments.
mental illness policy org
A non-partisan science-based think tank on serious mental illness, that often focuses on the intersection of serious mental illness, violence, state psychiatric hospital capacity, civil commitment and other issues. Special emphasis on SAMHSA, California (Mental Health Services Act, Laura's Law), New York (Kendra's Law, NYS Office of Mental Health).
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports, and research. NAMI’s "support and programs" page hosts many valuable links including educational resources for consumers, families, veterans, and diverse communities; a helpline phone number for people seeking information, support, or referral to services [800-950-NAMI (6264)]; and a link to legal resources for people living with mental illness and their families.
NAMI On Campus
The National Council for Behavioral Health
The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. The National Council has introduced Mental Health First Aid to the United States. Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Mental Health First Aid is a live training course, which uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect persons to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources.
National Institute of Mental Health
The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. The health and education page has diagnosis-specific information, mental health resources for different demographic groups, information about various forms of treatment, and educational materials for teens and adolescents. NIMH’s overall website also has descriptions of some of their current research projects and statistics about mental health conditions and their outcomes.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. The "topics and programs" page has numerous beneficial links to mental health literacy information. You can find information about prevention, screening, treatment, recovery, trauma, suicide prevention and more. Make sure to click on the health reform link. It will explain how the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will affect mental health services and policy.
Thero.org is committed to reducing stigma related to mental illness and valuing the diversity of human experience. Our primary goals are to empower people with mental illness to feel more connected and to help them get the services they need. We pursue these goals by implementing creative online and community projects. We know that your unique experience can help us make a difference in someone’s life. Visit our website to review our current projects and find out how you can educate, empower, and connect people.