Mental Health America (MHA)'s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them; with recovery as the goal.
Founded in 1909 by Clifford W. Beers, Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. During his stays in public and private institutions, Beers witnessed and was subjected to horrible abuse. From these experiences, Beers set into motion a reform movement that took shape and is known today as Mental Health America.
MHA’s programs and initiatives fulfill its mission of promoting mental health and preventing mental illness through advocacy, education, research and services. MHA’s national office and its 200+ affiliates and associates around the country work every day to protect the rights and dignity of individuals with lived experience and ensure that peers and their voices are integrated into all areas of the organization.
Much of MHA’s work is guided by its Before Stage 4 (B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process. When we think about diseases like cancer or heart disease, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start before Stage 4—we begin with prevention, identify symptoms, and develop a plan of action to stop and hopefully reverse the progression of the disease. Like other diseases, it is critical to address symptoms early and plan an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health.
Mental Health America is committed to advancing an anti-racist agenda and promoting health equity. We affirm the importance of mental health advocacy and recognize that racial injustice has caused trauma and harm to minoritized communities. We acknowledge that combating racism and inequity is an ongoing commitment. The impact of economic, clinical, and environmental disparities, including diverse linguistic needs, may hinder the opportunity to access and receive quality and equitable mental health care and services. Thus, we remain devoted to addressing discrimination, stigma, and other social and moral determinants of health, leading by example and educating our affiliates and communities. Together, we stand united in support of racial justice and the intersection of mental health, and the well-being of humanity.