Seeking accurate mental health information can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know what to look for and where to look. Fortunately, top national mental and behavioral health organizations offer a wealth of information and will even help you locate resources for your own mental health or that of a loved one. While the organizations below are a great place to start your research, if you’re looking for immediate assistance, a mental health crisis hotline is a better option.
The United States boasts a large number of organizations and charities dedicated to promoting mental health and understanding mental illness. Those that made this list are non-profit organizations dedicated exclusively to mental health. To be sure, other reputable and beneficial services exist that work for mental health advancement; many, though, address mental health in the context of something else.
Veterans Affairs (VA), for example, provides mental health information, resources, and services but aren’t a dedicated mental health organization. Likewise, Youth MOVE National is an outstanding organization devoted to promoting positive growth and development of our youth. They naturally include mental health information and help, but they aren’t on the below list because they aren’t an organization expressly for mental health.
Here are 30 of the nation’s top organizations for advancing mental health and supporting people with mental illness:
Organizations for General Mental Health
The following mental health charities and organizations are all-encompassing and offer information and resources for mental health and mental illness in general. These are great starting points when you need nearly any type of mental health information.
1. American Psychiatric Association (APA)
The American Psychiatric Association is the professional organization for psychiatrists. While it serves these medical doctors so they can provide the best level of care to their patients, the APA has devoted an entire section of its website to patients and their families.
Here, you will find important resources including:
- A brief but informative definition of major mental health disorders
- Additional topics covering a broad range of basic information such as “What is Mental Illness,” “Warning Signs of Mental Illness,” “Internet Gaming,” and much more
- A blog with useful, timely articles about a plethora of topics related to mental health, such as the benefits of dark chocolate, loneliness, and art therapy
2. American Psychological Association (APA)
This professional organization for psychologists seeks to advance the profession in order to advance mental health care for everyone. Their Psychology Help Center is for the general public, and there you’ll find information about living life well. Included in their variety of topics are subjects like emotional wellness, work and school, stress, relationships, and treatment information for conditions like depression.
They also offer a resource section with publications and databases for both professional psychologists and the general public. Check out their list of psychology topics for quick access to information you’re seeking. Spanish-speakers can access their resources and articles in Spanish.
3. Bring Change to Mind (BC2M)
The national organization Bring Change to Mind is dedicated to fighting the stigma that surrounds mental illness, because it’s this stigma that often prevents people from seeking help. BC2M educates people about mental illness and offers straight, real facts to eradicate myth and misunderstanding.
To encourage people to talk and listen, the organization provides information and resources such as:
- Shared stories>
- A blog
- Videos of people opening up about their life with mental illness
- Helpful hints about what to say and avoid saying to people experiencing mental health challenges
- A chance for people to contribute their own stories
HelpGuide is “your trusted guide to mental health & wellness.” They are an online organization dedicated to helping people help and empower themselves. They provide evidence-based information and self-help tools for you to take the next steps in your mental health journey. They offer articles and insights into mental health topics, including specific mental disorders (anxiety, depression, eating disorders, personality disorders, and more). You can discover information about health and wellness topics as well, like healthy eating, exercise, sleep, work, and relationships. HelpGuide equips you with basic information to start living well now and to catapult you on your journey to recovery from mental health challenges.
You will discover a wealth of important mental health information on MentalHealth.gov.
This easy-to-navigate website is divided into distinct sections:
- Basics, where you will learn the facts about what mental health is, myths and facts, and recovery.
- What to Look For provides quick, simple, but useful descriptions about what some of the most common mental health disorders look like.
- Specific groups like people living with mental health conditions, caregivers, and more can find information about how to talk about mental health, how to communicate with someone living with a mental health condition, and how to connect with others for support in the Talk About Mental Health section.
- Visit How to Get Mental Health Help section for resources on finding help for general or specific situations.
6. Mental Health America (MHA)
Mental Health America is a large, community-based mental health organization. This means that they have locations in cities and towns across America. They also provide information and support for mental health online.
Some of the many things MHA does include:
- Provide mental health screenings to help people understand symptoms and experiences
- Educate people about mental health conditions and living well through information and resources, an extensive blog, webinars, podcasts, and more
- Conduct nationwide advocacy work to increase awareness of and services for mental health
- Offer peer support programs, people living with mental health conditions helping others with mental health conditions
7. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
An extensive grassroots organization, NAMI is present in more than 950 communities in 48 states as well as online.
NAMI’s mission is threefold:
- Advocacy and public awareness are important components of what NAMI does. NAMI members work with political leaders to improve mental health policies, and they hold events to raise awareness for mental health.
- Education: NAMI affiliate resource centers provide a variety of educational programs for people with mental illness and their families. They also provide a series of classes to help people understand their diagnosis, and other classes are for veterans. NAMI partners with schools to provide programs for parents. Each affiliate decides which programs to offer depending on the needs of the community, and all programs follow a researched-based curriculum created by NAMI.
- Support for people living with mental illness and for family members and caregivers of people with mental illness is a primary mission for NAMI. Local affiliates provide resources, support groups, and classes all led by peers (people living with mental health conditions) and family members or caregivers.
8. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Mental Health is the lead federal agency for mental health research, both funding research and conducting their own studies. For the public, NIMH provides basic but credible and thorough information about numerous mental health conditions and other mental health topics. This is your go-to source for mental illness statistics. Other valuable information provided by NIMH includes resources for finding help, free brochures and fact sheets, and free outreach materials you can use to raise awareness in your community.
9. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services operates SAMHSA to “advance the behavioral health of the nation.” They work in many ways to help people overcome substance abuse and heal from mental illness so they can thrive in their lives. To do that, SAMHSA does many things, some of which are directly available to and created for the public.
Their work includes:
- Providing grants to fund programs providing mental health and substance abuse services
- Training for mental health professionals
- Educating people about such topics as living with mental illness, marijuana use, supporting loved ones with mental illness or substance use disorders, and more
- Helping people find treatment
- Delivering programs and campaigns to increase the quality of and access to mental health and substance use services
10. World Health Organization
An international organization for health, WHO has a division for mental health. It’s a reliable source of information on mental health topics, including mental disorders. They are a go-to source for facts and statistics worldwide and by region, including the Americas. They work worldwide and online to equip more than seven billion people with better health, including mental health and wellbeing. WHO Mind engages in specific projects and creates policies to promote mental health services for everyone.
Disorder-Specific Organizations and Charities
If you are seeking a group dedicated to a specific mental disorder, check out these organizations.
11. Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
The ADAA is a leading organization dedicated to helping people learn about and overcome anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and co-occurring conditions. Members include people living with these challenges as well as medical and mental health professionals.
By exploring the tabs on ADAA’s home page, you can:
- Become informed about anxiety disorders, depression and bipolar disorders, and related conditions
- Learn from blog posts, webinars, podcasts, videos, and member stories
- Find answers to common questions via their ”Ask an ADAA Therapist” column
- Gain information and resources from their “Find Help” section
12. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
An organization supporting people with mood disorders, DBSA provides life-improving education, support, help, and hope for more than 21 million people living with depression and bipolar disorders. This large group is led by peers, or people also living with mood disorders. Chapters throughout the U.S., as well as their website, provide education, support groups, and wellness resources.
13. International OCD Foundation (IOCDF)
The IOCDF provides resources and support for people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as loved ones of people with OCD. They provide a wealth of information about ODC: what it is, what causes it, who gets it, how it’s treated, related disorders, and more. You can also discover ways to find help and support. They can help you find the right therapist and discover resources like books and apps.
14. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
ANAD is an organization dedicated to providing free and accessible services, information, and resources for anyone whose lives are touched by eating disorders.
- Education and awareness about eating disorders, body image, and more
- Online resources including support groups and forums
- Help and support in the form of support groups, mentors, a helpline, and grocery buddies
This eating disorders organization also hosts events off- and online. Webinars, candlelight vigils, and ice cream socials are among these positive experiences.
15. National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
A large national organization, NEDA provides support for people with eating disorders and their family members, and they work to make care more accessible. They also seek to prevent and cure eating disorders. Use NEDA’s screening tool, helpline, and treatment finder as part of the help and support they provide.
NEDA also educates and helps people learn facts and information like:
- What eating disorders are
- Warning signs and symptoms
- Identity issues
- Body image
16. National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA)
Part of the National Institutes of Health, the NIAAA is the head federal agency for alcohol research, both conducting and funding research on alcohol use to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of alcohol problems and improve people’s quality of life. People directly benefit from the NIAAA through their resource “Alcohol’s Effects on Health.”
Here, you’ll acquire researched based knowledge on topics including, but not limited to:
- Alcohol basics
- Drinking levels>
- Binge drinking
- Alcohol’s effects on the body
- How alcohol affects different groups of people
Use the NIAAA’s treatment navigator to learn about treatment, including what it entails and how to find it. Also, this organization helps support you through the process of treatment with information about such things as how to talk to loved ones, what to expect, relapse information, and long-term recovery.
17. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is housed under the umbrella of the National Institutes of Health. They make available factual and reliable information about commonly abused drugs, and they offer information on related topics like vaping, drugs and the brain (adult and adolescent), mental health, and much more. Use their treatment guide for in-depth information about types of treatment, knowing what to ask when seeking treatment, and similar treatment topics. In the treatment section, you’ll also find links to step-by-step guides in English and Spanish for what to do if you or a loved one has a problem with drug use. This information is divided by age group to serve adults and adolescents.
>18. PTSD Alliance
The PTSD Alliance exists to help people find treatment, resources, and support for this treatable disorder. Here, you’ll find pertinent information about PTSD including what it is, who experiences it, and eye-opening statistics. Additionally, they offer facts and insights on PTSD and addiction, two experiences that frequently co-occur. Learn where to find help and gather additional useful resources.
19. Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA)
SARDAA is dedicated to improving the lives of Americans living with psychotic disorders. An important component of the organization is the Schizophrenia Alliance, a self-help support group with locations in 31 states, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, France, and India.
20. Treatment Advocacy Center
This is an organization dedicated to removing barriers to the treatment of severe mental illness. They promote better laws, policies, and research to improve help for severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Providing resources for family and loved ones of people with severe mental illness is an important part of what they do.
Their website provides valuable information that can be hard to find elsewhere on topics like:
- How to respond in a crisis
- Preparing for an emergency
- Understanding criminal justice involvement
- Knowing your state laws
- Learning about guardianship
- Figuring out HIPPA laws
Organizations that Serve Specific Age Groups
The below groups support specific ages and developmental stages. While mental illness applies to all ages, each stage is unique and responds to illnesses and treatments a bit differently. These mental health charities and organizations recognize the importance of age in mental health.
21. Active Minds
Founded by a young woman whose older brother died by suicide after suffering schizoaffective disorder in silence, hiding his symptoms and receiving insufficient help, Active Minds brings mental illness to light and helps people understand, connect, seek, and receive proper help.
With chapters on more than 500 college campuses nationwide, Active Minds members:
- Connect with communities to strengthen support and services
- Run programs like PostSecret, Send Silence Packing, and more
- Act as speakers to reach people at mental health events
Active Minds offers information and resources about mental health, including signs and symptoms, statistics, crisis information, getting help, and more. Explore the ”About Mental Health” tab on their website for a wealth of vital information.
22. Child Mind Institute
The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to helping children with mental health and learning disorders and their families. They work to improve standards of care, advance knowledge of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals, and policymakers nationwide. The organization is a go-to source for information on a wide variety of age-specific mental health and learning disorders. Discover what you need to know about a diagnosis. Take advantage of free guides to help with decision-making, or visit their ”Ask an Expert” section for FAQs and enlightening insight. Some of their useful tools to help you sort out what your child may be experiencing include a glossary and symptom checker.
23. National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (NFFCMH)
Run by families for families, the NFFCMH has over 120 national chapters and state organizations, as well as an online presence. This is an advocacy group dedicated to improving policies, legislation, and systems in order to benefit families and children with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs.
They offer a plethora of information, resources, and support about specific topics (mental health, suicide, and substance use, for example) for people including:
- Families, parents, and caregivers
- Young adults
- Peer support specialists
To increase awareness and understanding of the mental health issues faced by youth and families, the NFFCMH holds an annual awareness week as well as a national conference.
24. National Institute of Mental Health: Older Adults
The National Institute of Mental Health has a division devoted to older adults. They feature information on mental health disorders in adults over the age of 60.
Learn how these disorders and others affect seniors:
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders like depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Additionally, the NIMH helps people understand mental health medication in older adults and other pertinent topics.
A division of the National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) with additional founders prominent in the world of mental health like the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), Mental Health America (MHA), Active Minds, and the Child Mind Institute, OK2TALK is a forum for youth to open up about mental health. Teens and young adults can safely share their stories, poems, quotes, videos, pictures, song lyrics, and supportive messages with each other. It’s about giving and receiving support for struggles and triumphs alike. Mental health can be hard to talk about, so OK2TALK was created to encourage youth to talk and connect with each other.
Groups Dedicated to Suicide Prevention
The most tragic consequence of mental illnesses and other mental health challenges is suicide. These groups exist to support people considering suicide to assist them in finding help so they want to live once again.
26. American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
Mental health professionals, public health professionals, researchers, crisis centers and their volunteers, school districts, suicide attempt survivors, and loved ones who lost someone to suicide form the American Association of Suicidology. Among the work of the AAS are efforts to promote and encourage research, apply study findings, foster high-quality suicide prevention and postvention (support after a suicide attempt or the experiencing of suicidal thoughts), and provide helpful information.
Their website provides quality resources and information about suicide-related topics, among them:
- Facts and statistics
- Information about suicidal behavior
- Resources for suicide attempt survivors
- Resources for suicide loss survivors
27. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
The AFSP actively works to prevent suicide and seeks to lower the suicide rate by 20 percent by the year 2025. With local chapters and an online presence, this organization funds research, raises awareness, and provides helpful resources for those whose lives are affected by suicide. They do this through education programs in schools, workplaces, and communities. Further, they provide healing support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. They also offer an interactive screening program to connect people at risk of suicide to mental health services for the right help. Their messages are positive, focusing on hope and healing, as they help people take action to heal and thrive.
>28. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Anyone in crisis can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help and to connect with a live person at any time. People can talk to a real person about their experiences and to receive resources at 1-800-273-8255, or they can chat with an actual human being via the Lifeline Chat if they prefer this method to the phone.
In addition to immediate help, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers resources for specific groups such as:
29. The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of LGBTQ youth. They seek to provide support and crisis services for this marginalized group. The Trevor Project offers several education programs:
- The Lifeguard Workshop
- Trainings for professionals
- The Model School Policy, a resource for schools and educators
They also offer resources>including the Trevor Support Center and information about suicide prevention. Connect and chat with people at The Trevor Project online, via text by texting START to 678678, or by calling 1-866-488-7386.
30. Trans Lifeline
Led by people who are transgendered to support the trans population, Trans Lifeline is a hotline and microgrants organization to help this community survive and thrive. The hotline is a crisis service whose operators directly understand, empathize with, and relate to callers. Their hotline, 1-877-565-8860, is always open but only guarantees that operators will be immediately available during certain hours.
In addition to providing a mental health and suicide hotline, Trans Lifeline provides microgrants to help people with funding required for legal status changes. Currently, people can apply for assistance with the cost of passports, driver’s licenses or state identification cards, court ordered name changes, immigration documents, and tribal IDs. Additionally, they provide a helpful advocacy library to help people navigate the federal and state systems needed for legal gender changes.