Mental Health Awareness Month: Support These Nonprofits
Mental Health Awareness Month is a national observance in the United States that is held each May. The purpose of Mental Health Awareness Month is to raise awareness of mental health issues and to encourage people to seek help if they are struggling.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it is often overlooked. One in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness each year, and suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. Mental health conditions can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status.
Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to talk about mental health and break down the stigma associated with mental illness. It is also a time to learn about mental health conditions and to find resources that can help you or someone you know.
Support efforts to raise awareness about mental health by setting up recurring donations to any of these nonprofit organizations:
Black Girls Smile Inc.
Black Girls Smile Inc. (BGS) is a national nonprofit organization that promotes positive mental health and educational activities geared toward young black females. Founded in 2012 by Lauren Carson, BGS’s mission is to “empower Black girls and women to lead mentally healthy lives.”
BGS provides a variety of programs and resources, including:
- In-person and virtual mental health workshops and support groups
- A mentorship program that pairs Black girls with adult mentors
- A scholarship program that provides financial assistance to Black girls pursuing higher education
- A resource library that provides information on mental health, wellness, and other topics
The organization also advocates for the mental health of Black girls and women at the local, state, and national levels. They work to raise awareness of the mental health needs of Black girls and women and to promote policies that support their mental health.
BGS is committed to providing culturally responsive and gender-affirming mental health services to Black girls and women. The organization’s staff and volunteers are all trained in culturally competent mental health care, and they are committed to creating a safe and supportive space for Black girls and women to heal and thrive.
Here are some ways you can support Black Girls Smile:
- Donate to the organization via Groundswell.
- Volunteer your time at one of the organization’s events or programs.
- Spread the word about Black Girls Smile to your friends, family, and community.
The Headstrong Project
The Headstrong Project is a non-profit organization that provides confidential, barrier-free, and stigma-free PTSD treatment to veterans, service members, and families connected to their care. Their mission is to help our clients “Triumph Over Trauma” by providing them with effective mental health treatment. Headstrong’s network of trauma-informed clinical partners provides individualized, evidence-based outpatient care to their clients.
Headstrong was founded in 2011 by a group of veterans who were passionate about providing access to quality mental health care for their fellow service members. The organization has since grown to provide services to over 10,000 veterans and their families.
Headstrong’s services are provided at no cost to clients, and they are available to all veterans, service members, and family members regardless of service era, combat exposure, or discharge status.
Headstrong’s services include:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Medication management
- Peer support
- Case management
- Vocational counseling
- Financial counseling
- Housing assistance
- Legal assistance
Headstrong also offers a variety of educational resources and events to help veterans and their families learn about mental health and find support.
Mental Health America
Mental Health America (MHA) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to quality mental health care. MHA was founded in 1909 and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
MHA’s mission is to “build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness and addiction.”
MHA accomplishes this mission through a variety of programs and services, including:
- Advocacy: MHA advocates for policies that support mental health care, such as access to affordable insurance and parity for mental health care.
- Education: MHA provides information and education about mental health to the public, including through its website, publications, and public awareness campaigns.
- Support: MHA provides support to people with mental illness and their families, including through its helpline, support groups, and online resources.
- Research: MHA supports research on mental health, including through its funding of research grants and its publication in the journal Mental Health America.
HealthRIGHT 360 is a nonprofit healthcare organization that provides integrated, high-quality, and affordable healthcare to people in need in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The organization was founded in 1974 and has grown to become one of the largest and most comprehensive healthcare providers in the region.
HealthRIGHT 360 offers a wide range of services, including primary care, specialty care, dental care, behavioral health care, and pharmacy services. The organization also provides a variety of support services, such as case management, transportation, and translation services.
HealthRIGHT 360 is committed to providing high-quality, affordable health care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The organization offers a sliding fee scale for all services, and it accepts most major insurance plans. HealthRIGHT 360 also has a robust financial assistance program to help people who cannot afford to pay for their care.
Here are some of the ways HealthRIGHT 360 makes a difference in the community:
- Provides high-quality, affordable health care to people in need
- Offers a wide range of services, including primary care, specialty care, dental care, behavioral health care, and pharmacy services
- Provides a variety of support services, such as case management, transportation, and translation services
- Is committed to social justice and equity
- Advocates for policies that improve the health of all people
- Educates the public about health and wellness
- Trains the next generation of healthcare professionals
PEERS, or Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services, is a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and recovery services to people with mental health conditions. PEERS was founded in 1994 by a group of people with mental health conditions who were passionate about creating a more peer-driven and recovery-oriented mental health system.
PEERS has grown to become one of the largest and most respected peer-run organizations in the country. The organization has a network of over 200 peer support specialists who provide services to people with mental health conditions in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, and community-based organizations.
PEERS’s services are based on the principles of peer support, which is a model of care that emphasizes the importance of peer relationships in recovery. Peer support specialists are people who have lived experience with mental health conditions and who are trained to provide support, encouragement, and hope to others who are struggling.
PEERS’s services have been shown to be effective in helping people with mental health conditions improve their quality of life and achieve their recovery goals. The organization’s services have been praised by mental health professionals and consumers alike for their effectiveness, affordability, and accessibility.
Here are some of the ways PEERS makes a difference in the community:
- Provides peer support and recovery services to people with mental health conditions
- Trains peer support specialists
- Advocates for policies that support peer support
- Conducts research on peer support
- Raises awareness about mental health and recovery
- Educates the public about peer support
The Jed Foundation
The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit organization that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. The Jed Foundation partners with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. They equip teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. They encourage community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.
The Jed Foundation was founded in 1999 by Peggy and Andrew J. Gottesdiener in memory of their son, Jed, who died by suicide at the age of 19. The foundation is committed to preventing suicide and promoting emotional health among teens and young adults.
The Jed Foundation works to achieve its mission through a variety of programs and initiatives, including:
- The Jed Campus: A comprehensive approach to mental health and suicide prevention for colleges and universities.
- The Jed Talks: A series of public conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.
- The Jed Foundation Student Advisory Council: A group of high school and college students who advise the foundation on its programs and initiatives.
- The Jed Foundation Media and Entertainment Initiative: A partnership with the entertainment industry to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.
- The Jed Foundation Research Program: A research program that supports research
Mental Health Collaborative
The Mental Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization that provides mental health education and awareness to the public. They are dedicated to building resilient communities through mental health education and awareness. They provide an integrated, proactive approach to building mental health literacy; a much-needed education to help promote mental health.
The Mental Health Collaborative was founded in 2019 by Dr. Amy Barnhart, a clinical psychologist, and mental health advocate. Dr. Barnhart saw a need for more mental health education and awareness in the community, and she founded the Mental Health Collaborative to fill that need.
The Mental Health Collaborative works to achieve its mission through a variety of programs and initiatives, including:
- Mental Health First Aid: A training program that teaches people how to identify, assess, and respond to mental health crises.
- Mental Health Literacy: A series of educational resources that teach people about mental health and mental illness.
- Mental Health Awareness Events: A variety of events that raise awareness about mental health and mental illness.
- Mental Health Advocacy: The Mental Health Collaborative advocates for policies that support mental health care and promote mental health.
BEAM, or the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective, is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing social justice-informed mental health education and resources to Black communities. The organization was founded in 2016 by a group of Black mental health advocates who were passionate about addressing the mental health disparities that exist in Black communities.
BEAM works to achieve its mission through a variety of programs and initiatives, including:
- Mental health education and awareness: BEAM provides a variety of educational resources about mental health and mental illness, tailored to Black communities.
- Peer support: BEAM offers peer support groups and other opportunities for Black people to connect with others who understand their experiences.
- Advocacy: BEAM advocates for policies that support mental health care and promote mental health equity in Black communities.
- Research: BEAM supports research on mental health in Black communities.
NAMI, or the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by mental illness. The organization was founded in 1979 by a group of families who were concerned about the lack of resources and support available to people with mental illness.
NAMI works to achieve its mission through a variety of programs and initiatives, including:
- Support and advocacy: NAMI provides support groups, educational programs, and advocacy services to people with mental illness and their families.
- Public education: NAMI raises awareness about mental illness and mental health through its website, publications, and public awareness campaigns.
- Research: NAMI supports research on mental illness and mental health.
- Policy advocacy: NAMI advocates for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. They provide 24/7 crisis counseling and suicide prevention services through their TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat platforms. They also operate TrevorSpace, the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth.
The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 by Peggy Rajski, Randy Stone, and James Lecesne. The organization was inspired by the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film Trevor, which tells the story of a 13-year-old gay boy who contemplates suicide after being bullied at school.
The Trevor Project has been praised by mental health professionals and LGBTQ advocates alike for its innovative approach to suicide prevention. The organization’s services are confidential, free, and available 24/7, making them accessible to LGBTQ youth who may not have other options for help.
The Trevor Project has made a significant impact on the lives of LGBTQ youth. In 2020, the organization provided crisis counseling and suicide prevention services to over 200,000 LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project has also been instrumental in raising awareness about suicide prevention and LGBTQ youth mental health.
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