7 Organizations To Support During Mental Health Awareness Month & All Year Round
When it comes to mental health awareness, our culture is still in the throes of some undeniable growing pains; for as long as we’ve known that mental health conditions exist, we’ve also juggled stigmas that don't go away easily. While the conversation is more inclusive and sophisticated than it’s been in eras past, we remain largely silent, and often — even without meaning to be — ignorant of the realities of mental health, and the implications of mental illness for those who live with it. With Mental Health Awareness Month kicking off today, there is no better time to take note of these organizations that support mental health — both throughout the month of May and through the entire year.
With mental illness affecting up to 80 percent of the population at some point in their lifetime, according to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology — whether directly, or via loved ones and family — it’s clear that conversations about mental health are vital to all of us. Not only are effective treatments and interventions essential for management and overall wellness, but uprooting old stigmas and prejudices against those who live with mental illness has never been more crucial. Here are seven amazing organizations doing the work, year in and year out, to up the quality of our collective conversations around mental illness, dispel the myths and stigmas, and support those living with mental health conditions.
1The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention, crisis counseling and intervention, and supporting the mental health of LGBTQ youth. Founded in 1998, the Trevor Project is the leading national mental health organization for LGBTQ youth under 25 — providing a 24/7 crisis line, education, and support for young LGBTQ community members. Check out ways to give to the Trevor Project here.
2The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. Hundreds of volunteers, state-to-state affiliates, and local organizations work across communities to provide education, raise awareness, and offer support to those with mental health conditions. NAMI also advocates for nationwide public policy for people with mental illness and their families. You can donate to NAMI here.
Run by a team of transgender staff and volunteers, the Trans Lifeline hotline provides a 24/7 crisis intervention resource, with operators available 18 hours per day, for transgender people experiencing a crisis. It also provides support for those navigating their gender identity. You can donate to Trans Lifeline here, and volunteering opportunities are also available.
Rad Remedy facilitates healthcare for gender non-conforming, trans, and intersex people by providing access to safe and respectful healthcare providers. According to their website, RAD’s mission is to "connect trans, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer folks to accurate, safe, respectful, and comprehensive care in order to improve individual and community health.” You can donate to Rad Remedy here.
Based on the premise that education and support are integral to suicide prevention, Project Semicolon's website states that “through raising public awareness, educating communities, and equipping every person with the right tools, we know we can save lives.” The semicolon tells the story of many mental health journeys, and those whose stories continue through the management of mental illness. You can support Project Semicolon here.
6The NoStigmas Network
The NoStigmas Network offers powerful and effective peer-to-peer support “built by and for those whose lives are affected by mental illness and suicide,” according to the nonprofit’s official website. Committed to eliminating the stigmas surrounding mental health conditions, NoStigmas works to eliminate isolation for those struggling with mental illness, and create peer-led support communities nationwide. Learn more about how to get involved here, and donate to NoStigmas here.
7Mental Health America
Founded in 1909, Mental Health America is the nation’s leading nonprofit mental health organization. Their community-based efforts aim to address “the needs of those living with mental illness and to [promote] the overall mental health of all Americans,” according to their website. Active at the local, state, and federal levels, Mental Health America advocates for legislation and policy that best supports mental health awareness, as well as access to education and resources — they also provide community-based mental health screenings. You can support Mental Health America here.
Access to mental health support is significant to all of us. If donating money is out of reach for you right now, consider donating your time. Volunteers are vital to the efforts of nonprofit outreach and support organizations, and your time is an invaluable resource. There are lots of ways to get involved, and all are helpful and important. By bringing mental health awareness to the forefront of our thoughts and conversations, we can do a lot to lend our support and break the stigmas that affect so many people every day.