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National Support Organizations

Find additional information and support from the advocacy, academic research and SAMHSA-funded technical assistance center organizations on this page.

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Advocacy organizations

The National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. It is an association of more than 500 local affiliates who work to educate, advocate, listen and lead to improve the lives of people with mental illness and their loved ones.

Mental Health America MHA is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. 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.

Depression-Bipolar Support Alliance DBSA is a comprehensive resource for more than 23 million people in the U.S. who live with mood disorders. It provides education, tools, peer support and a wealth of inspiring stories to help individuals pursue their own path to wellness. Because DBSA was created for and is led by individuals living with mood disorders, its vision, mission and programming is always informed by the personal, lived experience of peers.

National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health NFFCMH is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental health needs and their families. NFFCMH works to develop and implement policies, legislation, funding mechanisms and service systems that utilize the strengths of families. Its emphasis on advocacy offers families a voice in the formation of national policy, services and supports for children with mental health needs and their families.

Children’s Mental Health Network CMHN promotes and supports high-quality services and solutions for children with mental health needs and their families. It is an independent, donor-funded 501-c3 non-profit organization that seeks to provide current, relevant information and ideas about children’s mental health policies and programs.

Bring Change to Mind BC2M is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health, and to raising awareness, understanding and empathy. Actress & activist Glenn Close co-founded Bring Change to Mind in 2010 after her sister, Jessie Close, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her nephew, Calen Pick, with schizoaffective disorder. Its mission is to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.

YOUTH M.O.V.E. Youth M.O.V.E is a youth-driven, chapter-based organization dedicated to improving services and systems that support positive growth and development by uniting the voices of individuals who have lived experience in various systems including mental health, juvenile justice, education and child welfare.

The International Association of Peer Supporters (Formerly called the National Association of Peer Specialists) – iNAPS was founded in 2004, and now includes members from every state and several countries outside the US. Members of this network can come together to share their ideas and innovations, exchange resources and information based on real world application, and add their voice to others when concerns and issues affecting all of us require a global response from a global community. Its mission is to grow the peer support profession by promoting the inclusion of peer specialists throughout healthcare and other community systems worldwide.

Faces and Voices of Recovery Faces & Voices is dedicated to organizing and mobilizing the over 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, their families, friends and allies into recovery community organizations and networks, to promote the right and resources to recover through advocacy, education and demonstrating the power and proof of long-term recovery.

Dual Recovery Anonymous DRA is an independent, nonprofessional, Twelve Step, self-help membership organization for people with a dual diagnosis. Its goal is to help men and women who experience a dual illness, who are chemically dependent and also affected by an emotional or psychiatric illness, as both illnesses affect all areas of life – physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

The ARC for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and serving them and their families. It works tirelessly to uphold its vision that every individual and family living with I/DD in the United States has access to the information, advocacy and skills they need to support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.

Autism Society of America The Autism Society has been improving the lives of all affected by autism for over 50 years and envisions a world where individuals and families living with autism are able to maximize their quality of life, are treated with the highest level of dignity and live in a society in which their talents and skills are appreciated and valued. It provides advocacy, education, information and referral, support, and community at national, state and local levels through its strong nationwide network of Affiliates.

Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America SARDAA improve lives affected by schizophrenia-related brain illnesses (mental illnesses involving psychosis). SARDAA promotes hope and recovery through support programs, education, collaboration, and advocacy. Its vision is that every person living with a schizophrenia-related brain disorder receives respect, appropriate treatment and an opportunity to live a meaningful and satisfying life in a compassionate community free of discrimination.

Academic research organizations

Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health PRCH does collaborative research, evaluation, education, training, policy development and consultation. It works to transform behavioral health programs, agencies and systems to be culturally responsive and re-oriented to facilitating the recovery and social inclusion of the individuals, families and communities they serve. It seeks to promote the recovery, self-determination and inclusion of people experiencing psychiatric disability, addiction and discrimination through focusing on their strengths and the valuable contributions they have to make to their communities.

UIC Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy The Center engages in research, training and technical assistance to enhance service delivery and increase knowledge about behavioral health. It fully involves people with mental health disorders, their friends and family members, service providers, and other stakeholders in its efforts. Its work promotes concepts of recovery, self-determination and full community participation. The Center conducts projects in the areas of vocational, residential and educational rehabilitation; integration of mental and physical health services; crisis management and prevention of psychiatric and medical hospitalizations; the needs of women and people from diverse cultural backgrounds; and systems change. The Center also emphasizes the needs and experiences of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, diabetes and other co-occurring medical conditions.

Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University The Center is a research, training and service organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons who have psychiatric disabilities. Its work is guided by the most basic of rehabilitation values, that first and foremost, persons with psychiatric disabilities have the same goals and dreams as any other person. Its mission is to increase the likelihood that they can achieve these goals by improving the effectiveness of people, programs and service systems using strategies based on the core values of recovery and rehabilitation.

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development GUCCHD strives to foster a stronger society by promoting the wellbeing of all children, adults and families and creating more inclusive communities. It works together to: advance collective solutions, bridge the campus to the community, build strong and diverse partnerships, and broadly share its extensive expertise with empathy and dedication.

The Child Mind Institute The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Its teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most.

The National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services NRCPDS is the only national center of its kind to assist states and other agencies or organizations that want to offer, or already offer, participant-directed services to people with disabilities. NRCPDS provides technical assistance, research, education and training to both Medicaid and non-Medicaid funded programs.

The National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives NRCPAD is a resource for consumers, family members, health and legal professionals about psychiatric advance directives. It includes state-by-state information regarding psychiatric advance directives.

The Coalition for Whole Health The Coalition for Whole Health was established in 2009 to ensure that federal health care reform legislation would fully and equitably include mental health and substance use disorders (MH and SUD). It consists of over 150 national, state, and local organizations working to improve access to MH and SUD care. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the Coalition has worked together to ensure the law is well implemented for people with MH and SUD care needs.

Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion is engaged in research and knowledge development activities that are translated into practical information to support full and meaningful community participation of individuals with mental illnesses.

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.

SAMHSA-funded consumer and consumer/supporter technical assistance centers

The Support, Technical Assistance & Resources Center The STAR Center is a consumer-supporter technical assistance center within NAMI. The STAR Center’s focus is on building organizational, business and management capacity of peer leaders and peer-run organizations to increase the availability of peer-directed, recovery-oriented approaches, especially in states and territories where there are very few peer-run organizations and statewide peer networking initiatives. The STAR Center is dedicated to supporting peers in every arena, and does this through several activities towards developing strong, statewide mental health networks and organizations, supporting and encouraging youth leaders, young adults and other culturally underrepresented communities, and by improving the level of collaboration between diverse stakeholders within mental health systems to encourage transformation at state, regional and national levels.

National Empowerment Center The mission of NEC is to carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing to people with lived experience with mental health issues, trauma, and and/or extreme states. They have information about topics such as advance directives, shock treatment, schizophrenia, self-help groups in your area, legal services in your area, meditation and self-help techniques, coping with depression, etc.

National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse The Clearinghouse is a peer-run national technical assistance and resource center that fosters recovery, self-determination and community inclusion. The Clearinghouse serves individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition, peer-run service and advocacy organizations, family members, mental health professionals and service providers, policy makers and the public.

The CAFÉ TA Center The CAFÉ TA Center is a program of The Family Café, a cross-disability organization that has been connecting individuals with information, training and resources since 1998. The Center is supported by SAMHSA to operate one of its five national technical assistance centers; providing technical assistance, training, and resources that facilitate the restructuring of the mental health system through effective consumer directed approaches for adults with serious mental illnesses across the country.

Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center is a project of Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon, a 501(c) (3) organization, and is a federally funded national consumer/survivor technical assistance center through SAMHSA. Peerlink works to strengthen the capacity and infrastructure of peer-run programs and traditional mental health organizations. It also works with generic community agencies to increase their capacity to provide services to people diagnosed with mental illness that facilitate and promote social inclusion.

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