Membership Spotlight: Mental Health Advocacy Organizations 


By Theo Smith, Communications Intern

May is Mental Health Month. One in five adults in the United States experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with mental illness. It is important to measure how common mental health issues are, so its physical, social, and financial impacts can be understood. These numbers are a powerful reminder that no one is alone.

The National Health Council (NHC) is proud to highlight its members who advocate for mental health and wellness and join them in raising awareness during Mental Health Month. We hosted a webinar on Friday April 17, detailing mental health implications during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a part of our webinar series, Coronavirus Preparedness for People with Chronic Disease.

This webinar featured Paul Gionfriddo, President & CEO, Mental Health America; Dawn Brown, Director, Information and Engagement Services, National Alliance on Mental Illness; and Tia Dole, Chief Clinical Operations Officer, The Trevor Project. During the webinar, the speakers focused on the impact COVID-19 is having on mental health in the United States. The speakers offered tips and resources for people struggling with mental illness during this crisis. Some of the tips the experts suggested for coping with anxiety and depression include: taking control of what you can and practicing physical distancing while keeping a strong social support network.

Our member organizations support the national movement to help raise awareness about mental health, fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education, and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death. AFSP creates a culture that is smart about mental health and engages in funding scientific research, educates the public about mental health and suicide prevention, advocates for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention, and support survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide. AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide.

Mental Health America (MHA) 

(MHA) Mental Health America is dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. The organization is committed to promoting mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention in services for all; early identification, intervention for those at risk, integrated care, available services, and support for those who need it. MHA offers access to education, research, and services through their national office and over 200 affiliates and associates around the country.

The Trevor Project 

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. The Trevor Project is committed to producing innovative research that brings new knowledge and clinical implications to the field of suicidology. Through accredited life-saving, life-affirming programs and services the Trevor Project offers LGBTQ youth a safe, accepting and inclusive environment over the phone, online, and through text.

Additional Resources: 

Watch the full webinar, here.

Find more information on our COVID-19 Issue Page, here.

Read our blog on how you can get involved in Mental Health Month, here.