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Mental Health America Celebrates 100 Years of Mental Health Advocacy and Support
Date:12/15/2008

the organization's continuing work and focus on the challenges and needs of Americans with mental health and substance use conditions.

Over the course of a century, Mental Health America led the way on major advancements and improvements in research, prevention, and treatment surrounding mental health care.

Major accomplishments include:

  • Convened the First International Congress on Mental Hygiene in Washington D.C. (1930)
  • Advocated for passage of the "National Mental Health Act," which created the National Institute of Mental Health. (1946)
  • Launched Mental Health Week (which eventually became May is Mental Health Month) with the Jaycees to educate Americans about mental illness and mental health. (1949)
  • Commissioned the casting of the Mental Health Bell from chains and shackles that restrained people with mental illnesses in decades past. (1953)
  • Convened the National Leadership Conference on Action for Mental Health. (1962)
  • Supported passage of the "Community Mental Health Centers Act" which called for deinstitutionalization and increased community services. (1963)
  • Advocated for inclusion of mandated mental illness services in Medicare. (1966)
  • Successfully demanded that a "Have you ever been mentally Ill?" question be removed from federal government employment forms. (1974)
  • Helped to form the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), a foundation formed with the purpose of raising private sector funds to support research on mental illnesses. (1985)
  • Promoted passage of the Protection and Advocacy for the Mentally Ill Act by Congress. (1985)
  • Organized the National Action Commission on the Mental Health of Rural Americans regarding the delivery of mental h
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SOURCE Mental Health America
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