Mental Health America

Although there seems to be a stigma attached to mental health issues, there is a lot more open conversation and acknowledgment of these issues.  More people than not are meeting with therapists or social workers and are seeking out psychiatrists and alternative therapies in order to treat the symptoms.  Mental Health America is a great resource for anyone in need of mental health services; which is why online therapy provider BetterHelp supports them.


MHA, which has been in existence since 1909, “is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to address the needs of those living with mental illness and to promote the overall mental health of all Americans”.  They are committed to including mental health as part of overall wellness.  They support services in deterrence, recognition, and intervention for those who may be at risk.  They also use a model of integrated care, services and supports for those who are diagnosed with a mental illness.  Recovery is their overall goal. According to Catherine “Katie” Ness, MA, LCPC, “making the decision to enter into treatment requires a commitment to prioritize your mental health and make some significant life changes.”


MHA has a philosophy called B4Stage4.  When someone is diagnosed with a disease such as cancer, Stage 4 is the most advanced, most dangerous, most impactful stage of the disease.  Someone at stage 4 has had the disease for a while and it has progressed far into the disease.  This is the hardest stage to treat.  If that same patient is diagnosed at stage 1, there are more options and the disease is usually easier to treat so that it doesn’t progress.

If this is applied to mental health, MHA wants to treat individuals who may be at risk or who show the very beginning symptoms of a mental illness because, as with other diseases, at a beginning stage it is easier to treat and the individual is put on the road to recovery much sooner.  A course of action can be planned and the symptoms may and can be reversed.  That way, there will be no entering into Stage 4.


*MHA Screening is an online resource that individuals can take to conclude if they are having any symptoms of a mental health issue.  There are screeners for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, youth, parent for child, alcohol or substance use, psychosis, eating disorder, and work health survey.

John M. Grohol, Psy.D. says “This kind of effort takes a fair amount of commitment and understanding of the online world.”

*Screening to Supports is a resource, once the screening is taken, to get the “individual information and education, referral to care and services, engagement with people like me (peers) and DIY: self-help tools”.

*Back to School is a toolkit to bring a focus to understanding mental health issues that may arise during adolescent and teen years.  There are resources for parents/other adults and students.

*May is Mental Health Month and MHA floods the media with offerings of local events and screenings for those who may not know where to reach out for services.

*Center for Peer Support offers a program for peer specialist certification along with information and printed material about peer support, peer-run programs, support groups and research on peer support effectiveness.

*Life on Campus offers resources for college students.

*Workplace Wellness offers a work health survey that individuals can take to see if their workplace is a healthy or unhealthy work environment.  As it states, “Loving or hating a job can cause less or more stress in life”.  Stress has an emotional and physical effect on the body so if you are in an unhealthy work environment as stated in the survey, it might be time to look for a new job.

*Social Self-Directed Care:  MHA trains groups to carry out their peer-driven intervention called “It’s My Life”.  It is a great way for communities to offer services directly to the people who live within their community.  This program is delivered through a series of webinars that are open to the public

“Negative thoughts are just a part of life, but they don’t have to consume you. Instead of trying to ignore those thoughts altogether, try countering them with positive statements.” – John Mayer, Ph.D.