Thursday, June 10, 2010

I've been thinking about the wealth of mental health resources right at our fingertips thanks to computers.  The internet is a powerful tool for connecting with mental health organizations, information, programs, and campaigns that cover the gambit of mental health topics.

If I tried to compile an exhaustive list I would be writing this blog post for quite a long time...so today I am going to focus on one very big source of information and support: the
Department of Health and Human Services.


I am a big fan of the many sites about mental health maintained by the DHHS. For those who don't know, the DHHS exists to "
protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves."  


The online information, links to regional and state mental health organizations, and free paper resources they provide for public consumption are extremely valuable for educating oneself about mental health issues, and finding support and treatment at the local level.  Here are my top 3 go-to DHHS maintained pages.  


ETD gets many of the free resources we provide for our audiences from NIMH.  Dedicated to transforming the understanding of mental health through research, NIMH fulfills this mission by:

1) Promoting discovery in the brain and behavioral sciences to fuel research on the causes of mental disorders
2) Charting mental illness trajectories to determine when, where, and how to intervene
3) Developing new and better interventions that incorporate the diverse needs and circumstances of people with mental illnesses
4)Strengthening the public health impact of NIMH-supported research
 
SAMHSA's stated mission is to "reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities." SAMHSA also has some excellent free publications that can be ordered or downloaded.   
My favorite part about the website is The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).  The registry is a "searchable database of interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders. SAMHSA has developed this resource to help people, agencies, and organizations identify and implement programs and practices that have been scientifically tested. Currently, NREPP contains reviews of approximately 150 interventions, and 3 to 5 new reviews are added each month."
The ADS Center has a mouthful of a name, and a mission big enough to match!  Their goal is to "enhance social acceptance and inclusion by ensuring that people with mental health problems can live full, productive lives within communities without fear of prejudice and discrimination."   
They approach the job from a strengths based perspective that I love.  My favorite element of the page is a national directory of programs and campaigns aimed at promoting acceptance and disarming stigma.  If you are part of a local program or campaign to promote acceptance around issues of mental health, reach out to them!  
Do you have a favorite destination (whether a local or national resource) for information about mental illness online?   Let us know about it in the comments section or by emailing me at jessica@erasingthedistance.org.
Have a wonderful weekend,
-Jessica
 

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