Advocacy Groups

Active Minds empowers students to change the perception about mental health on college campuses. Active Minds supports a network of campus-based chapters across the United States and Canada that are made up of students passionate about mental health advocacy and education. Chapters provide their campuses with a wide range of programming that educates their peers about mental health, connects students to resources, and aims to change negative perceptions about mental health disorders.  Active Minds chapters are changing the way students address mental health and giving a voice to this important issue. Learn more at www.activeminds.org


The American Brain Coalition (ABC) is a non-profit umbrella organization working to reduce the burden of brain disorders. We raise awareness about the cause, impact, and consequences of neurologic, including psychiatric, disorders in society through education and advocacy on cutting edge developments in brain research. The ABC uniquely unites the knowledge and resources of patients and families, researchers, clinicians, universities, government agencies, and private corporations.  The result is a collective voice serving our 100+ member organizations’ individual, but complementary, missions. For more information, visit www.americanbraincoalition.org.


The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP at www.afsp.org, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) works to prevent, treat, and cure anxiety disorders and depression. Our mission focuses on improving quality of life for those with anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through education, practice, and research. ADAA helps people find treatment, resources, and support and strives to improve patient care by promoting implementation of evidence-based treatments and best practices across disciplines through continuing education and trainings and accelerating dissemination of research into practice. ADAA promotes scientific innovation and engages a diverse network of basic and clinical anxiety and depression researchers and providers encouraging the implementation of new treatments to clinicians. These commitments drive ADAA’s promise to find new treatments and one day prevent and cure these disorders. For more information, visit www.adaa.org.


The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is the nation’s top non-governmental funder of mental health research grants. We believe that better treatments and advancements come from scientific discovery. We only fund scientists whose research is reviewed and recommended by our all-volunteer, world-renowned Scientific Council representing every major discipline in brain and behavior research. The $408+ million in grants awarded by the Foundation since 1987 has resulted in over $3.9 billion in additional research funding for these scientists. For more info: https://www.bbrfoundation.org/


Through over 300 local Clubhouses in more than 30 countries around the world, Clubhouse International offers people living with mental illness opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, education and access to medical and psychiatric services in a single caring and safe environment – this social and economic inclusion reverses the alarming trends of higher suicide, hospitalization and incarceration rates associated with mental illness. For more information, visit https://clubhouse-intl.org


The CureSZ Foundation provides education about underutilized and cutting-edge medications and treatments for schizophrenia. This includes information about the unique medication clozapine, which is the only FDA-approved medication for cases of treatment resistance. It also includes long-acting injectable medications (LAIs) which are convenient for persons with schizophrenia and effective at preventing relapse and rehospitalization. To learn more: www.curesz.org/


DBSA envisions wellness for people who live with depression and bipolar disorder. Because DBSA was created for and is led by individuals living with mood disorders, their vision, mission, and programming are always informed by the personal, lived experience of peers. Through more than 700 support groups and nearly 300 chapters, DBSA reaches millions of people each year with in-person and online peer support; current, readily understandable information about depression and bipolar disorder; and empowering tools focused on an integrated approach to wellness. For more information visit www.dbsalliance.org


The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health. JED believes that we can promote mental health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults by empowering them as individuals, strengthening their schools, and mobilizing the communities and influences in their lives. For more information visit https://jedfoundation.org


Letters to Strangers (L2S) is the largest global youth-for-youth mental health nonprofit, seeking to destigmatize mental illness and increase access to affordable, quality treatment particularly for those of ages 13 to 24. We mobilize our mission via 1) Anonymous handwritten letter exchanges; 2) Science-driven peer education curricula, including the world’s first youth-for-youth mental health guidebook; 3) Grassroots policy-based advocacy, such as annual scholarships and the first pan-African, 24/7 toll-free mental health hotline operating from our Liberia Chapter’s base. Headquartered in California but active on six continents, Letters to Strangers directly impacts over 35,000 people a year. Our goal is to revolutionize the modern approach to mental health, focusing on a youth/peer, equity, and intersectional approach from the ground up. For more information visit http://letterstostrangers.org.


 Founded in 1909, MHA has an established record of effective national and grassroots advocacy and achievement. With over 200 affiliates in 41 states, 6,500 affiliate staff and over 10,000 volunteers, they are a powerful voice for healthy communities throughout the nation. Much of their current work is guided by the Before Stage 4 (#B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process. For more information visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net


National Alliance for Eating Disorders is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the outreach, education, early intervention, support, and advocacy for all eating disorders. The Alliance offers accessible, comprehensive services, including free support groups, referrals for care, and education. Learn more at www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com


NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. For more information visit www.nami.org


The National Federation of Families is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 state and local affiliates and national partners focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and substance use challenges and their families.

The National Federation works to develop and implement policies, legislation, funding mechanisms, and service systems that utilize the strengths of families. Its emphasis on advocacy offers families a voice in the formation of national policy, services and supports for their children with mental health needs and substance use challenges across the lifespan. For more information, visit https://www.ffcmh.org/about.


 People USA is a peer-run mental health nonprofit that creates, provides, and promotes its own innovative crisis response and wellness services. We provide person-centered care for those experiencing acute emotional distress and are available to listen and help 24/7/365, with respectful, trauma-informed support, safe spaces and connections to further needed services. These services include short-term stay alternatives for hospital psychiatric ERs and inpatient units diversion; a Crisis Stabilization Center, a Mobile Crisis Stabilization Team of clinicians, peers, and subscribers who work directly with law enforcement and courts to ensure that people presenting with mental health or substance use issues stay out of the criminal justice system when behavioral health interventions are the more appropriate response; and Integrated Peer Services where People USA embed staff in hospital ERs, inpatient units, and intensive short-term treatment, providing and advocating for trauma-informed care and better engagement between provider and patient. For more information, visit https://people-usa.org.


SARDAA is now The Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance, but the goal remains: to improve lives affected by schizophrenia-related brain illnesses (mental illnesses involving psychosis). The Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance promotes hope and recovery through support programs, education, collaboration and advocacy. Our vision is that every person living with a schizophrenia-related brain disorder receives respect, appropriate treatment and an opportunity to live a meaningful and satisfying life in a compassionate community free of discrimination. Learn more at https://sczaction.org/


Schizophrenic.NYC was created, founded, & designed by Michelle Hammer, a Schizophrenic New Yorker who wants to make a difference in the way the mentally ill homeless are treated in NYC as well as change the way New Yorkers feel about mental illness. Usually, the Rorschach Test is plain black. When a person with schizophrenia looks at this test or just goes through life, things are seen from a different perspective. What Michelle did was use her artwork in the test, changing the colors and patterns so now everyone sees the test from a different perspective. This makes people think differently and starts a discussion. The more discussions about mental health we have, the less stigma there will be. To learn more: https://www.schizophrenic.nyc/


Formerly ‘Students With Schizophrenia’, SWP empowers empowering student leaders and advocates living with psychosis worldwide by organizing events, founding clubs, offering career-building internship programs, and bringing together a global perspective of psychosis through our Advocacy Board. Together, we can change the face of psychosis. To learn more: https://sws.ngo/


To find your local advocacy group:

DBSA: https://www.dbsalliance.org/support/chapters-and-support-groups/find-a-support-group/

MHA: https://arc.mhanational.org/find-affiliate

NAMI: https://www.nami.org/findsupport


Link HERE for PTSD Advocacy Organizations