Updated March 2017
There are many, many organizations and groups that deal with mental health. This page will help you find the one or ones that offer the type of assistance, intervention, or information you’re seeking. We’ve organized the information into the following sections:
- If it’s a crisis…
- A quick-read fact sheet
- Be sure to come here
- Find mental health services
- Mental health in schools
- Organizations on specific disorders
First things first, regardless of how frightening a note this is to begin on. If someone you know is having a mental health crisis and you need help fast, try the resources below that seem to fit the nature of the crisis.
Call 1.800.784.2433, the National Hopeline Network. You’ll be connected automatically to a certified Crisis Center near your location. Crisis Center calls are answered by trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the event that the nearest Crisis Center is at maximum volume, the call is seamlessly rerouted to the next closest center. Callers should never encounter a busy signal or voice mail. For easy recall, remember this: 1.800.SUICIDE. hopeline.com
Call 1.800.273.8255, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Another excellent resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which also provides access to trained telephone counselors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For easy recall, think 1.800.273.TALK. For the same help in Spanish; call 1.888.628.9454. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the lifeline via TTY, at: 1.800.799.4889. suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Visit the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) online. AAC is dedicated to the understanding and prevention of suicide. For those seeking info and perspective on this difficult subject, including the warning signs and guidance on what to do, the association offers many publications that can help. www.suicidology.org
Find a residential placement for an individual. The Association of Children’s Residential Centers concerns itself with therapeutic living environments for children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders. You can take a look at ACRC’s member list to see what types of residential centers are available to help children who need this sort of residence. Find these detailed descriptions online at: togetherthevoice.org/our-members
A Quick-Read Fact Sheet
Read our fact sheet on emotional disturbance. If you’re looking for an intro to emotional problems and the mental health field, this is a good place to start. Our fact sheet will hook you up with organizations that can help, online and print resources of more information, and an overview look at disabilities that cause mental health concerns. www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/emotionaldisturbance
Be Sure To Come Here
There are numerous sources of incredible information, support, and guidance on mental illness—across the gamut. We’ve listed a few starter links below where you can find out more about the range of specific mental disorders, interventions, family life, coping strategies, and much more.
National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH). The link below takes you to a wealth of resources for parents on specific mental health diagnoses as well as and other topics related to children’s health and family involvement in systems that impact children. www.ffcmh.org/resources
MentalHealth.gov. MentalHealth.gov provides one-stop access to U.S. government mental health and mental health problems information. www.mentalhealth.gov
NAMI, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. NAMI calls itself the “Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness” and is an invaluable source of information on the subject. In addition to the mountain of info you’ll find on NAMI’s site, you can also connect with state and local NAMI chapters. www.nami.org
Mental Health America. NMHA addresses all aspects of mental health and mental illness. Delve into their online resources about mental issues and identify NMHA affiliates in your area. www.nmha.org
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). At the link below, you can find information on child and adolescent psychiatry, fact sheets for parents and caregivers, current research, practice guidelines, and managed care information, among other things. www.aacap.org
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). AAP offers the family-friendly site called Healthy Children, where you can find a wealth of information in English and Spanish about emotional problems in children. www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/Pages/default.aspx
Mental Help Net. A vast amount of info here on specific mental disorders, mental health, wellness, and family and relationship issues and concerns. mentalhelp.net
National Mental Health Information Center. This service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) provides information about mental health via a toll-free telephone number, more than 600 publications, and a website located at: www.samhsa.gov
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Another very rich resource. At NIMH, you’ll find health info on a very wide range of mental health disorders; all about different medications; and the latest info on clinical trials and research. Find all this—and publications in English and Spanish—at: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/index.shtml
Finding Mental Health Services
Find mental health services. The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) offers a state resource sheet for every state in the U.S., useful for identifying the range of agencies and mental health assistance that’s available in the state and nationally. store.samhsa.gov/facet/Location
Health care insurance for uninsured children. Did you know that each state has a health insurance program for children? Children who don’t have health insurance right now are very often eligible for state medical coverage. The insurance is available to children in working families, including families that include individuals with a variety of immigration status. To find out what your state’s policies are, what’s covered, and how to apply, call 1.877.543.7669 or find your state at: www.insurekidsnow.gov/state/index.html
Medicaid benefits for mental health services. If you’re eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to access mental health services through Medicaid. States vary, however, in what types of mental health services they provide under Medicaid. Use the database at the link below to find what Medicaid benefits are available in your state. tinyurl.com/yhuos2j
Mental Health in Schools
Mental health in schools. Starting in 1995, two national training and technical assistance centers were established to improve how schools address barriers to learning and enhance healthy development. Each of these centers is a source of information and technical assistance regarding mental health in schools. Take advantage of each of their databases, materials, and expertise:
- Center for Mental Health in Schools, UCLA smhp.psych.ucla.edu Under “Search and Quick Find” in the main menu, you can search the Center’s resources for just about everything but the kitchen sink related to mental health in schools.
- Center for School Mental Health Assistance, University of Maryland csmh.umaryland.edu This center maintains a library of resource materials including reprints, articles, and publications specific to school-based mental health. It also offers a comprehensive directory of school mental health programs around the world.
For educators. Educators are often the first to notice mental health problems. Here are some ways educators can help students and their families. From mentalhealth.gov. www.mentalhealth.gov/talk/educators/index.html Back to top
Organizations on Specific Disorders
Looking for info and assistance related to a specific mental condition? In addition to what you’d find by visiting the organizations listed above under “Be Sure to Come Here,” look over the quick alphabetical list below of organizations that focus on a specific mental disorder. They offer in-depth information, support groups, and guidance regarding that disability–perhaps the one of concern to you.
Anxiety Disorders. Visit the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA). www.adaa.org
Behavior Disorders. Visit CPIR’s Behavior Suite for a detailed list of resources and organizations addressing behavior disorders and concerns. www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/behavior
Bipolar Disorders. If this is your area of concern, try these groups.
Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF) www.bpkids.org
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home Toll-free number: (800) 826-3632.
Dually Diagnosed: Mental Illness and Intellectual Disabilities. www.thenadd.org The National Association for Dually Diagnosed (NADD) focuses upon the needs and issues of individuals who have both mental illness and cognitive impairments or intellectual disabilities, and the professionals and families who share concern for these individuals.
Eating Disorders. www.nationaleatingdisorders.org The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) works to prevent eating disorders and provide treatment referrals to those suffering from anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder and those concerned with body image and weight issues.
OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. www.ocfoundation.org The Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation (OCF) is for people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders, their families, friends, professionals and other concerned individuals.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). www.ptsdinfo.org For more info and assistance on PTSD, you’ll want to visit the Gateway to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Information.
* Highly Rated Resource! This resource was reviewed by 3-member panels of Parent Center staff working independently from one another to rate the quality, relevance, and usefulness of CPIR resources. This resource was found to be of “High Quality, High Relevance, High Usefulness” to Parent Centers.