Thursday, October 12, 2006

NASW Government Relations Action Alert - Pressure the House on Mental Health Parity

Action Needed

Join with NASW’s advocacy partners and call your Representative, using the toll-free Parity Hotline, 1-866-parity4 (1-866-727-4894), to urge cosponsorship of the new House mental health parity legislation, H.R. 1402. (The Parity Hotline reaches the Capitol switchboard, which can connect callers to their Members of Congress.) Targets : All members of the House of Representatives who have not cosponsored Mental Health Parity legislation this year. If you click on the link to H.R. 1402, you can view the list of cosponsors to date.
Message : “I am calling to ask the Representative to [again] cosponsor H.R. 1402, the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act. Parity is a fair and affordable solution that will save lives and families.”


The Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act expands the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 by prohibiting group health plans from imposing treatment or financial limitations on mental health benefits that are different from those applied to medical/surgical services. The legislation closes the loopholes that allow discrimination in the copayment, coinsurance, deductible, maximum out-of-pocket limit and day and visit limits. It applies only to group health plans already providing mental health benefits, and excludes (as does current law) health plans sponsored by employers of fewer than 50 people.

Highlights of the Equitable Treatment Act of 2005(H.R. 1402) Introduced by Reps. Patrick Kennedy and Jim Ramstad

Equal Coverage for All Mental Disorders

  • Expands the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (MHPA) to prohibit a covered group health plan from imposing treatment limitations or financial requirements on mental health and chemical dependency treatment benefits that differ from limitations on medical and surgical benefits.
  • The bill only applies to group health plans that opt to provide mental health benefits and is modeled after the mental health benefits provided through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
  • Provides full parity for mental health conditions listed in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the industry standard diagnostic manual used by Medicare, Medicaid, the FEHBP, the FDA, the legal system and 13 states’ parity laws.

Requirements and Exemptions

  • Coverage is contingent on the diagnosis being included in an authorized treatment plan that is in accordance with standard protocols and meets medical necessity criteria.
  • There is a small business exemption for companies with 50 or fewer employee


  • A new study of the FEHBP program has shown that access to care improved and costs were negligible.
  • Research shows that better mental health care results in savings to businesses in the form of lower absenteeism and higher productivity. According to the World Health Organization over one-fifth of lost days of productivity are the result of mental and addictive disorders.
  • Every credible study of states experiences with mental health parity have shown that mental health costs rise minimally or fall after the implementation of parity, as people have greater access to less expensive forms of treatment.

The Need for Parity

  • The Surgeon General has estimated that roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population has a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year, but only one in three receives treatment.
  • Untreated depression costs American businesses $70 billion each year in lost productivity and worker absenteeism according to the Wall Street Journal. NIMH has found the U.S. loses $180 billion per year due to all mental illness.
  • The GAO reports that 87 percent of health plans routinely force patients to pay more for mental health care than other health care and place stricter limits on mental health treatment than on other health treatment, or both.

For more information, contact Jim Finley, NASW Government Relations Unit, at: or visit National Association of Social Workers for full article.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

End Human Rights Violations Against People With Mental Health Disorders-December 10: International Human Rights Day

GENEVA, Dec 07, 2005 /Xinhua-PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The World Health Organization (WHO) is dedicating International Human Rights Day, 10 December, to people with mental disorders and the all-too-prevalent violations of their basic human rights. People with mental disorders face an alarming range of human rights abuses in countries throughout the world, yet there are proven ways to dramatically improve the situation.

(Logo: )

Misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental ill health are widespread. Despite the existence of effective treatments for mental disorders, there is a belief that they are untreatable or that people with mental disorders are difficult, not intelligent, or incapable of making decisions. This stigma can lead to abuse, rejection and isolation and exclude people from health care or support. Within the health system, people are too often treated in institutions which resemble human warehouses more than places of healing.

"There are still far too many violations of the human rights of people with mental disorders. However, too often both the health and human rights agendas overlook these problems, and as a result, they slip between the cracks," said Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director General of WHO. "We have solutions to reverse the situation, in rich and poor countries alike. I urge countries, international organizations, academia, the healthcare and legal sectors and others to take a hard look at the conditions of people with mental disorders and take action to promote and protect their rights."

To mark International Human Rights Day, WHO is drawing attention to the problems and the solutions in a new online photo essay: 'Forgotten People: Mental Health and Human Rights,' which highlights some of these human rights violations, and gives examples of how they can and must be stopped.

More than 450 million people throughout the world have mental, neurological or behavioural problems. Yet the majority of these people do not receive human rights protection or appropriate mental health treatment and care because of the low priority given to mental health. For example, 64% of countries do not have any mental health legislation, or, that which exists is out-of-date. Much existing mental health legislation fails to protect the rights of people with mental disorders; 30% of countries lack a specified budget for mental health, 20% spend less than 1% of their total health budget on mental health.

Click the title to read the full article.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

We Heard the Angels of Madness

I'm reading a book called We Heard the Angels of Madness, by Diane and Lisa Berger. It was written in 1991 and there have been a lot of changes in diagnoses and treatment since then, but it is still thought provoking. There are some passages that frightened and enlightened me.

Over half of manic-depressive patients attempt suicide, although the "success" rate is closer to 15%.

Estimates of people with some form of bipolar disorder fall between 1-10%.

I've often wondered why I don't have the "classic" symptoms, episodes of mania or depression that last weeks to months at a time. I read about Cyclothymia:

A person suffering from cyclothymia can be thought of as the walking wounded. While the exaggerated moods may not be intense or long, the illness can bring about a string of unhappy and painful crises although a person may continue to function (albeit marginally) at work and home. Someone with this disorder may be moody, irritable, antisocial, unstable, impulsive, and volatile. The cyclothymic sometimes abuses drugs or alcohol. He may have marital problems or be promiscuous; start projects or jobs that he never finishes; change jobs or homes constantly; argue loudly, then feel very contrite; swing between feeling inferior and feeling grandiose and superior; or go on spending sprees...Others are simply known as very moody people who can't hold down a job, drink excessively, and go through many marriages or romances. In short, they barely cope or cope miserably.

Could this be why I can't find a treatment that works? That I can't distinguish my "moods swings" from just being "a bitch"?

A mother's reaction to diagnosis:

To be mentally ill is to have no secrets, no hidden self, no self separate and private from the eyes of others. It is to be constantly under glass,e very move scrutinized and studied and evaluated. How many of us could stand up to such scrutiny? I feel guilty and remorsefully for having put my son in this place where one's very soul is dissected and written about.


Patients often feel that their medications, while quelling psychosis or lifting depression, make them a different person. They say they're less energetic, more quiet, less spontaneous, and physically uncomfortable, and often suffer from constant thirst, nausea, or blurred vision. Yet these drugs enable them to hold jobs, manage money, and keep family relationships intact..."To patients, taking medication is a daily reminder that they are chronically mentally ill, that they might become psychotic again, and that life is nowhere near what they or their families hoped for or expected," concludes psychiatrist Ronald Diamond.

Stopping medication is very common among manic-depressives. Doctors report that one third to one half their patients, at some time, stop drug therapy.

Drugs do not cure manic depression, they simply relieve its symptoms.

I feel as though "Cyclothymia" is a discovery for me. I feel like I am constantly in some state, I can't control my mouth or my actions. I don't have any "real" emotions, it is all caused by some short circuit in my brain. I'm not allowed to have feelings, I'm being watched. Happiness is not happiness, it is mania. Sadness is not sadness, it is depression. Yet irritability is always me being a bitch. Hopefully this will help in my treatment.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Support Groups

I have been contacted by many people suffering from bipolar disorder as well as their family members. If you would like to contact others dealing with this illness, or you would like to share your email or blog address, please email . This is an excellent way to share experiences, and learn more about the illness. You will find that many people suffer the same, and some suffer in ways you would not believe. One of the most important things you can do if you or a family member are suffering from this illness is to have a strong support group.

Stooltime Counseling

"STOOLTIME COUNSELING" is an award winning, main-stream, self-help website engineered to: 1) Inform and educate the reader. 2) Evoke positive thought. 3) Provide a forum that invites readers to "ASK THE COUNSELOR". Mental health articles and Professional Replies are personally written by a Licensed Professional Counselor, who is also a Nationally Certified Sports Counselor.

This website consists of articles on various mental health issues, written in an easy-to-understand, personal format.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Keeping Families Together Act

Should loving parents have to give up custody of their child because the child has a mental illness?

Absolutely not – yet, every year thousands of families must make the heart-wrenching decision to give up custody of their ill child in order to receive mental health services. This is a decision no parent should have to make. Latest figures show that parents placed more than 12,700 children into the child welfare or juvenile justice systems so they could receive treatment. It is a national tragedy that in 2005, families must undergo such drastic measures to get care for a seriously-ill child.

Far too often, in order to get essential mental health services for their child, caring parents must make the choice of custody relinquishment – giving their child up to the state – so the child can qualify for care, or living in poverty in order to keep custody of their child. This inexcusable practice has to end. Custody relinquishment is not a rational choice for society and it’s no choice for families.

Too many children with mental disorders and their families have suffered too long because the system has failed them. State agencies consistently hear from families that seek help for their children, but are offered none.

Staying Together
Hopefully, help may soon be available. A piece of legislation called Keeping Families Together Act (H.R. 823 and S. 380) has recently been introduced to Congress. The bill’s main components include:

- Allocation of $55M to improve access to state mental health and support services for families
in danger of losing their children because they cannot afford mental health care.

- Creation of state interagency systems of care as an alternative to custody relinquishment.

- More efficient use of resources to care for children while allowing them to stay with their

- Increasing the availability of home and community-based services; improve collaboration
among agencies that serve children with mental health needs, including education, child
welfare and juvenile justice.

Click on both of the Action Alerts (one for your Senators and the other for Representatives) below to let Congress know they must support and pass this important legislation NOW!
Keeping Families Together Act 2005 -- Contact your representatives NOW!Keeping Families Together Act -- Help parents avoid cruel choices. Click Here.
Keeping Families Together Act 2005 -- Contact your senators.Custody or care? Contact your senators NOW! Click Here.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

CABF Member Asks NIMH to Increase Funding for Research

By: Barbara Troost, CABF Family Member
May 13, 2005

Good afternoon. My name is Barbara Troost. I speak for myself, and my husband, Michael. We live in South Bend, Indiana.

My youngest daughter is now 30. Bipolar disorder is especially rife in her biological fathers’ family: he, her fraternal aunt, her grandmother, (who was a suicide at 42), and, her 2nd cousin, who was a founder of the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association in Chicago in the 1970’s. I have an aunt, and a cousin who have bipolar disorder.

My husband adopted my daughter at 5. At 6, she was diagnosed with ADD and an IQ of 137. At 13, her symptoms worsened shockingly. Finally, at 15, while she was hospitalized, we were told by doctors she “was probably bipolar, but she was too young.” And… "she could not physically tolerate lithium”. No drugs other than Ritalin and Prozac were offered. We were advised to try lithium again when she turned 20, good luck, and GOODBYE.

Our family suffered greatly under those years of chaos and brushes with the law. I do not overstate to say it was misery .Yet we could not bear the stigma of giving up custody to the court system. The financial burden of large psychiatric bills, took us near bankruptcy, then years to pay off.

At 16, she was pregnant by another patient she met while hospitalized. That pregnancy was terminated. At 18, she became pregnant again. That child, a boy, is now 11. We raise him. Our daughters’ outcome is very poor. Like many, she self medicates with alcohol and street drugs. She lives on the fringes of society. She was unable to parent. My husband and I have had custody and legal guardianship of our grandson since he was 4.

Then, at 23, she eloped with my bipolar 50 year-old, cousin, after knowing him two weeks. Many years ago, he shot his first wife in the head and jail and court committals followed. Our daughter said she married him “ because they had so much in common.” They have a young child, and they now are estranged. We know we are unable to raise this child too.

When our beloved grandson was diagnosed with early onset bipolar disorder at 10, we were heartbroken: both for him and, for us. We did not know how we could face more years of pain. It is better our “second time around” because of advances in understanding and medications, and the information and support we have received thru CABF. Still, we have many times been strained to near breaking. We know we are not alone; there are many other grandparents in our exact position. Most do not have the resources we are fortunate to have.

Our grandson recently finished 14 weeks here at the NIMH, as a child volunteer in Dr. Liebenlufts’ Severe Mood Dysregulation and Lithium in Children study. He was a “tough customer.” We are truly grateful to the NIMH, and Dr. Kenneth Towbin, and his wonderful staff, who carry on this difficult research while giving children sensitive and world-class care. We know that research is the only way to stop this horrible heritable disorder that at the very, very least, robs innocent children of happy and healthy formative years.

Our boy is now at a residential treatment facility, which is covered by insurance. He will then go on to wilderness therapy. The cost is $20,000.00 for 60 days. These funds detract from our retirement. But, we have it. Most parents do not. Experience has taught us that intervention MUST come while a child is still manageable. So, early accurate diagnosis and therapy must be a priority too. Treatment begun too late helps guarantee a dismal prognosis. Information must be disseminated to Pediatricians! They are the first to hear of parents confused concerns. They must be trained to question, and to see the red flags.

I ask that the NIMH increase childhood bipolar and mood disorder funding dramatically by transferring adult study monies to childhood research, now that it is known that mood and bipolar disorders, and the root of schizophrenia begin in the early years. Current funding is such a tiny percentage of the budget. I respectfully ask that you consider that mood and childhood bipolar disorder, narrow or broad, with its’ societal implications, and sheer numbers, is crucial.

Last summer I had a conversation with my grandson, after he calmed from a rage that bears repeating. He said: “if my mom has this, and I have this, my kids will probably have this too, huh?” This child is highly intelligent and no fool…. I told him “yes, that might well be so” -- as I thought of my secret prayers to God that he, like his mother before him have no children. He began crying: real sobbing, and said: “ no NICE girl will EVER want to marry me”…he then screamed out in near hysteria, ”Why can’t they give me a shot to cure ME?? ” I’ll take the shots grandma!! I promise!!!!

Please help my grandson, and the thousands of other children like him.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

About the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the nation’s leading patient-directed organization focusing on the most prevalent mental illnesses – depression and bipolar disorder. The organization fosters an understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically-based tools and information written in language the general public can understand. DBSA supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments and discover a cure. The organization works to ensure that people living with mood disorders are treated equitably.

DBSA is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that answers more than 5,000 calls per month on our toll-free information and referral line and receives nearly 101,500 individual visitors monthly to our website. Each year we distribute more than 50,000 information packets free of charge to anyone requesting information about mood disorders. DBSA reaches nearly two million people through our educational materials and programs, exhibit materials and media activities.

DBSA’s prestigious 65-member Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is comprised of the leading researchers and clinicians in the field of mood disorders. SAB members review all DBSA publications and programs for medical and scientific accuracy. In addition, SAB members present at DBSA conferences, author peer-reviewed manuscripts on behalf of the organization and represent DBSA to the media.

DBSA has a grassroots network of more than 1,000 patient-run support groups across the country. More than 55,000 people attend our peer-led support groups every year. Support groups play an important role in recovery with 86 percent of support group members reporting that their group helped with treatment adherence. This is a key finding because treatment adherence means fewer hospital stays, which in turn means lower insurance costs, greater employee productivity and significantly increased quality of life.

DBSA publishes more than two dozen educational materials about living with mood disorders, all available free of charge. Its educational materials have no medical or scientific jargon, and convey a message of hope and optimism. All materials are reviewed by patients to ensure the contents are targeted for patients and their families.

DBSA advocates in Washington, D.C. on behalf of people living with mood disorders, providing congressional testimony and ensuring the voice of the patient is heard. Current issues include increased research funding, insurance parity, patient confidentiality, increased attention for co-morbid illnesses and integrated treatment for dual diagnosis by dually trained professionals.

DBSA holds an annual conference for its constituents, hosts annual international scientific conferences on critical issues related to mood disorder research, publishes in peer-reviewed medical journals and sponsors surveys on issues of importance to those living with mood disorders and those treating these disorders.

DBSA Change for Change

What is “Change for Change?”
It’s a fundraiser that DBSA started in 2003 to support our programs
and services. We’re bringing it back because it was such a success!
Please participate by using the enclosed bag to collect spare change
from your pockets or purse at the end of each day – and don’t forget
that dollar bills are great, too!

Bring the bag with you to the Illinois, New Jersey or Texas conference where, combined with other contributions, we’ll join together and help those living with mood disorders. Help us celebrate DBSA’s 20th anniversary and show how --

“Together we can make amazing things happen!”

Here's how you can help.
Save money you've collected by recycling cans or bottles in your neighborhood or skip that one soda or coffee per day, even one per week! Join together with members of your DBSA support group or ask friends and coworkers to join in. Get family members to help by donating their spare change, too. It's also a great way to get kids involved with helping others.

What can some spare change or a few bucks do?
Great things! Over the past two years, we’ve raised over $3,500 dollars that was used to provide hope, help and support to thousands of people. Your contribution, whether large or small, assists us in reaching those people through our support groups, website, publications, and toll-free information line. Every little bit helps, but we understand that sometimes even the smallest donation is not possible. Keeping yourself well and joining DBSA in its mission to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders by supporting others striving for wellness is truly contribution enough. Bring your Change for Change bag to the conference and deposit it in the special box located in the
conference registration area. If you wish, you may count your change before you leave home and bring a check payable to DBSA with you.
If you are unable to get to a conference -- but would like to participate in the Change for Change program, simply count the change you've collected and send a check or money order payable to DBSA to the address below. You may send your bag of change, but we recommend sending a check or money order, as the postage will be less. If you are unable to attend a conference, mail your contribution to:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Change for Change
730 N. Franklin Street, Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60610

Additional bags are available to share with family, friends, co-workers and fellow support group members. Contact DBSA by emailing or calling (800) 826-3632. Thank you!

DBSA is a not-for-profit, 501 (c) (3) Illinois corporation. All donations are deductible based on federal IRS regulations. Please consult your tax advisor for more details. All information is held in strict confidence and at no time will be shared with, sold or rented to other organizations.

Bipolar Central

"...this site provides the most comprehensive collection of information related to bipolar disorder. Whether you or a loved one has bipolar disorder, you need this information now and you won't find most of it on any other site related to bipolar disorder."

Bipolar Supporter

If you are supporting a loved one who is bipolar, discover the tips, tricks and secrets to making your life less stressful all while helping…

"How To Deal And Cope With Your Loved One's Bipolar Disorder"

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

About the NSPI Network

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national, 24-hour, and toll-free suicide prevention service available to all those in suicidal crisis who are seeking help. Individuals seeking help can dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They will be routed to the closest possible provider of mental health and suicide prevention services.

The network is comprised of over 100 individual crisis centers across the country creating a nationwide coverage area. It is administered through the Mental Health Association of New York City, an organization with experience in crisis, information, and referral hotline management.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline grant is one component of the National Suicide Prevention Initiative (NSPI), a multiproject effort to reduce suicide led by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services.


The Columbia University TeenScreen Program is an adolescent mental health and suicide-screening initiative active in 43 states. By helping communities establish programs in schools, doctors’ offices, juvenile justice facilities and other youth organizations, and collaborating with legislators, administrators, and advocates to promote mental health screening throughout the country, we hope to offer all parents the opportunity for their teenager to receive a voluntary mental health check-up.

National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems

The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems has been a leader in advocating high-quality mental health and substance abuse care delivery for more than 70 years.

Created in 1933, the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems today represents delivery systems working to coordinate a full spectrum of treatment services, including inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs as well as prevention and management services.

The NAPHS mission encompasses all organizations serving people with psychiatric and substance use disorders.
NAPHS advocates for behavioral health and represents provider systems that are committed to the delivery of responsive, accountable, and clinically effective treatment and prevention programs for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. In April 1999, the Association of Behavioral Group Practices (ABGP) merged with NAPHS, further expanding the association's representation of the continuum of care.

NAPHS members provide a range of services.
The association has a wide variety of system members--including integrated health systems, hospitals, units and behavioral health divisions of general hospitals, partial hospitalization programs, community mental health centers, residential treatment centers, youth services organizations, and behavioral group practices--located in all regions of the country. Member systems provide active treatment and prevention programs for children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, and alcohol and substance abuse patients, and most offer a continuum of services such as inpatient, partial hospitalization, residential treatment, and outpatient care. NAPHS members are actively working to develop integrated delivery systems that offer the most effective and efficient care.

NAPHS promotes quality mental health and substance abuse care in behavioral healthcare systems.
NAPHS works to promote appropriate regulation through such organizations as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, other accrediting bodies, Medicare, and state legislatures.

Mood & Anxiety Disorders Program of NIMH

The Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program (MAP) is the world’s largest research program focused on mood and anxiety disorders. Our nationally and internationally renowned clinical researchers and basic scientists investigate the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of serious mood and anxiety disorders. The program is divided into research groups specializing in depression, bipolar disorder (manic‑depression), anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. We have experts working with children, adolescents and adults. A broad range of methods is employed including neurochemical, neuroendocrine, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging to conduct studies into the causes and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Our staff engage their talent and spirit to carry out their mission; to contribute to the alleviation of suffering by contributing to the discovery of new and improved treatments for mood and anxiety disorders.

The past decade of mental health research has yielded significant advances in both the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. These advances could not have occurred without the participation of many patients and families. We are indebted to those who have volunteered. Your participation contributes to increased knowledge about mental illness in general and may contribute to your own understanding of your condition. Medical evaluations, consultations, procedures and treatments related to MAP research studies are provided at no cost to you. MAP research is based on sound ethical principles with a focus on compassionate care of research subjects and sensitive and responsible follow-up and referral.

Treatment research is our highest priority. MAP physicians, social workers, psychologists and nurses are whole-heartedly invested in helping to lead the way to an improved quality of life for patients and their families.

Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

The National family-run organization dedicated exclusively to helping children with mental health needs and their families achieve a better quality of life. We:

Provide leadership to develop and sustain a nationwide network of family-run organizations.

Focus the passion and cultural diversity of our membership to be a potent force for changing how systems respond to children with mental health needs and their families.

Help policy-makers, agencies, and providers become more effective in delivering services and supports that foster healthy emotional development for all children.

Families for Depression Awareness

Our Mission
To help families recognize and cope with depressive disorders.

Our Purpose
To help families recognize and manage the various forms of depression and associated mood disorders.
To reduce stigma associated with depressive disorders.
To unite families and help them heal in coping with depression.

Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign

Center for Mental Health Services
Division of Service and Systems Improvement
Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch
Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign

The Caring for Every Child's Mental Health communications campaign is a national public information and education campaign to:

Increase public awareness about the importance of protecting and nurturing the mental health of young people.

Foster recognition that many children have mental health problems that are real, painful, and sometimes severe.

Encourage caregivers to seek early, appropriate treatment and services.

The campaign helps families, educators, health care providers, and young people recognize mental health problems and to seek or recommend appropriate services. It also strives to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems.

The campaign is a technical assistance program for the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program for Children and Their Families. Its fundamental messages are:

Every child's mental health is important.
Many children have mental health problems.
These problems are real, painful, and can be severe.
Mental health problems can be recognized and successfully treated.
By working together, caring families and communities can help.
Information is available from SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center by calling 1-800-789-2647.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

AFSP Mission Statement
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to funding research, developing prevention initiatives and offering educational programs and conferences for survivors, mental health professionals, physicians and the public.

The Foundation’s activities include:
Supporting research projects that help further the understanding and treatment of
depression and the prevention of suicide
Providing information and education about depression and suicide
Promoting professional education for the recognition and treatment of depressed and
suicidal individuals
Publicizing the magnitude of the problems of depression and suicide and the need for
research, prevention and treatment
Supporting programs for suicide survivor treatment, research and education

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

About Us
For three decades, the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has been the nation's leading legal advocate for people with mental disabilities. Our precedent-setting litigation has outlawed institutional abuse and won protections against arbitrary confinement. In the courts and in Congress, our advocacy has opened up public schools, workplaces, housing and other opportunities for people with mental disabilities to participate in community life.

Freedom From Fear

Anxiety and Depressive disorders are the most common of all mental illnesses. Anxiety disorders alone affect more than 19 million American's each year. Both anxiety and depressive illnesses are severe, chronic and extremely impairing to the individuals who are affected by them. Furthermore, they can have a devastating effect on the family members of those suffering from anxiety and depression.

Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association founded in 1984 by Mary Guardino. Ms. Guardino founded FFF as an outgrowth of her own personal experiences of suffering with anxiety and depressive illnesses for more than 25 years. The mission of FFF is to impact, in a positive way, the lives of all those affected by anxiety, depressive and related disorders through advocacy, education, research and community support.

FFF has developed an anxiety and depression screening program with a free consultation from a health care professional. Visit the FFF Screening Room.


The Faces of Thresholds
Look at the faces of Thresholds members, and read their quotes throughout our website. You’ll see and feel what inspired the Thresholds vision and led to an agency that has become a recognized and respected leader in helping people with mental illnesses.Thresholds creates the opportunity for people with mental illness to live with dignity and independence. For 45 years, Thresholds has developed innovative programs that:

 Give people with mental illnesses the tools they need to live with
 Help people with mental illnesses live independently
 Provide wellness services for recovery from mental illness

The Agency
One of the nation's largest non-profit providers of mental health services, Thresholds provides a comprehensive program of therapeutic support, case management, education, job training and placement, and housing. With 30 service locations and more than 75 housing developments in the Chicagoland area, Thresholds serves more than 5,000 people with mental illness each year. Thresholds is also an innovator in the mental health field. Throughout its history, the agency has developed programs that serve as models for others. Several agencies around the world have replicated Thresholds’ model.One in four Americans--people of all races, incomes and social strata--will suffer from some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Patients with mental illnesses fill more hospital beds per year than patients with heart disease, lung disease, and cancer combined. Thresholds has never been a more important resource.

Our Members
We do not have clients or patients at Thresholds. We have members. By definition, members belong. Thresholds members have come to rebuild their self-esteem and self motivation. They are partners with our staff in developing and implementing a personal rehabilitation and recovery programs.

Thresholds Voices: Hear Our StoriesRead about our members, their families, and how Thresholds aids in the recovery process.

Mission Statement
Thresholds assists and inspires people with severe mental illnesses to reclaim their lives by providing the supports, skills, and the respectful encouragement that they need to achieve hopeful and successful futures. We strive to be the provider of choice, employer of choice, and a world leader in the development and evaluation of rehabilitation and recovery services.

Goal Areas
Prevent unneccessary hospitalization
Independent living
Social rehabilitation
Vocational rehabilitation
Academic preparation
Promote physical well being

Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation

CABF President’s Welcome
Whether you are a first time visitor or a long time member, I welcome you to our online community, the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation Web site.

For five years, we've served as a meeting place for families dealing with the challenge of raising children with bipolar disorder. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide essential support and information to all of you who are struggling to do the best you can for your children and families.

We know what it feels like to search for the right doctor, to find the appropriate school, and to make decisions about medications. The board and staff of CABF are dedicated to providing you with the most current information available so that you can do the best job possible for your children and your family.

As a member of the CABF family, you are never alone wherever you live. Help is always available whether you post on our many message boards, take part in our facilitated chat rooms, become a member of an online support group or download information from our legal and education pages.

I’d also like to extend a special welcome to teachers and school personnel who work with our kids. CABF is dedicated to getting you the information and tools you need to serve our children’s special needs.

I urge you to take full advantage of CABF's outstanding resources. Visit us often, and don't be afraid to let us know what you need. I welcome your feedback and look forward to working together to make a difference in the lives of all our children.

Ellen B. Solms Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Out of the Darkness Community Walks

This fall, thousands will walk for suicide prevention-- be one of them

Walk with us this fall in the 2005 Out of the Darkness Community Walks

Every 18 minutes in the U.S., someone dies by suicide. This fall thousands of men and women will walk in over 40 communities across the United States, each contributing their voices to break the silence surrounding suicide.

Walk to save lives...

By walking in the 2005 Out of the Darkness Community Walks to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), you will be walking with thousands of people nationwide to raise money for AFSP's vital research and education programs to prevent suicide and save lives, increase national awareness about depression and suicide, and assist survivors of suicide loss.

Walk in honor of a loved one...

Many of our participants walk in memory of a loved one lost to suicide. You can tell their story and even put your loved one's photo on your personal web page. Each walk site has its own unique remembrance activity in which you can participate.

Register online today!

Registering is simple-- just click on the "Register Here" button above and tell us in which walk you'll be participating. Once you register, you can set up your own personal web page and begin fund-raising.

Raising money and forming teams are easy with the tools provided on the website. Register today and make your own gift to start your fundraising efforts. You can e-mail your family, friends, and co-workers, print out sponsorship forms, and personalize a fundraising letter. If you raise $150 or more you will receive a 2005 Out of the Darkness t-shirt on the day of the event. You will also be eligible to earn incentive prizes.

We encourage you to register online and take advantage of all of the fundraising tools, but if you are unable to do so, please call 1 (888) 333-AFSP X 13.