National Mental Health Awareness Month: Organizations Making a Difference
By Becca Stewart
Millions of Americans live with mental illness. About one in five Americans has a diagnosable mental health condition, many of which were exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly half of all Americans will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives. Yet, there are still many stigmas and misconceptions surrounding mental health. During National Mental Health Awareness Month each May, we highlight nonprofit organizations working to end the stigma and increase awareness.
Mental Health Organizations Making a Difference
Throughout the United States, nonprofit mental health organizations work tirelessly to serve those across the country. These are just a few of the incredible organizations working to end the stigma and provide care for those experiencing mental illness.
Teen Lifeline was established in 1986 to address teenage suicide in the state of Arizona. The organization provides peer-to-peer support for teens in crisis. Trained teenage volunteers answer phone calls from tens of thousands of other teens every year, providing encouragement and support for those in need.
Besides the emergency hotline, Teen Lifeline conducts education and training programs in local schools, helping teens, teachers, and caregivers address mental health concerns. Through their life-saving work, Teen Lifeline is driving home their important message: teens are not alone.
“Teen Lifeline has been at the forefront of suicide prevention for over 33 years. Teen Lifeline’s hotline for calls and texts is the front line in Arizona for teens in crisis. The teens who become the Peer Counselors for the hotline calls and texts are amazing, dedicated members of the community who save lives every day. The prevention staff works tirelessly year-round, presenting programs on resiliency, stress management, and suicide prevention. We’ll never know how many teen lives have and will be saved because of Teen Lifeline’s dedication to teen suicide prevention.”
This organization addresses not only the mental health issues that lead to suicide but also the devastation for those left behind. Some 20,000 individuals have contacted Alliance of Hope since its inception in 2008, providing encouragement, support, education, and vital resources for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Alliance of Hope strives to help survivors not merely “survive” but to find healing and hope as they navigate their grief journey.
“Alliance of Hope has by far been the most helpful tool in dealing with my traumatic and horrific loss. I have found a place of solace with others who, sadly, know what I’m going through. My feelings and experiences are met with understanding and genuine concern from an incredibly dedicated group of survivors. There is always someone available to share my pain and offer me heartfelt care. I can’t say enough positive things about AOH.”
-bc1195, Client Served
Simi Valley, CA
Grief is an experience that, unfortunately, bonds many of us together. For those who have lost a spouse or life partner, that grief can be overwhelming, often leading to mental health concerns. Soaring Spirits provides a place for those who have experienced the loss of a partner or spouse.
The organization provides support, counseling, and social connection for widows and widowers nationwide. Through their extensive network, Soaring Spirits helps survivors find renewed hope, purpose, and self-esteem in the face of extraordinary heartache.
“Soaring Spirits gave me hope, a community, and direction for my new widowed life. I will be forever grateful for what I gained from Soaring Spirits.”
-Whitneyy, Client Served
Grand Rapids, MI
Those who have mental illness often have trouble finding and keeping gainful employment. Hope Gain Network helps those suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses find remote work employment opportunities nationwide.
In addition to helping clients find work, Hope Gain Network also partners with employers and advocacy agencies, providing education and training opportunities. Through their work, the organization helps over 1,000 people every year find and maintain remote employment.
“This group has helped me so very much, and I finally have found gainful employment that doesn’t require me to leave the safety of my home! Before joining this group, I was in a rut and having so much trouble finding a work-from-home position that fits into my life. The resources I have found in this amazing & supportive group have helped me change my life! I’m finally financially stable, and I’m able to keep my mental health a priority in my life. I was never able to do both before.”
-mlamarle, Client Served
How to Support Mental Health Awareness Month
Please consider donating your time or financial resources to one of these Top-Rated Nonprofits in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. You can also discover more organizations in your area and worldwide by searching our website, GreatNonprofits.org.