Updated, February 2021
There are many, many organizations and groups that deal with mental health. This page will help you find the one or ones that offer the type of assistance, intervention, or information you’re seeking. We’ve organized the information into the following sections:
First things first, regardless of how frightening a note this is to begin on. If someone you know is having a mental health crisis and you need help fast, try the resources below that seem to fit the nature of the crisis.
People need a safe place to go during moments of crisis and intense emotional pain. IMAlive is a live online network that uses instant messaging to respond to people in crisis. All of its volunteers are trained and certified in crisis intervention.
Call 1.800.273.8255, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Another excellent resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which also provides access to trained telephone counselors who provide free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For the same help in Spanish, call 1.888.628.9454. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the lifeline via their preferred relay service or by dialing 711, then 1.800.273.8255.
Find a residential placement for an individual.
The ACRC (Association of Children’s Residential Centers) concerns itself with therapeutic living environments for children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders. Contact ACRC at 1.877.332.ACRC (2272). Visit their website and find multiple briefs to guide families and caregivers considering residential placement, all of which were written by parents or guardians with the lived experience of having children in residential facilities. There are also 4 short videos where youth speak for themselves about being in residential placement and/or about coping with mental health issues. Youth may also find it helpful to read ACRC’s 1-pager called Inside Info on the Residential Programs from Youth Who Have Been There.
Read our fact sheet on emotional disturbance.
If you’re looking for an intro to emotional problems and the mental health field, this is a good place to start. Our fact sheet will hook you up with organizations that can help, online and print resources of more information, and an overview look at disabilities that cause mental health concerns.
There are numerous sources of incredible information, support, and guidance on mental illness—across the gamut. We’ve listed a few starter links below where you can find out more about the range of specific mental disorders, interventions, family life, coping strategies, and much more.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) | A very rich resource! At NIMH, you’ll find health info on a very wide range of mental health disorders; all about different medications; and the latest info on clinical trials and research. Find all this—and publications in English and Spanish.
English | https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/index.shtml
Spanish | https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/espanol/spanish-listing.shtml
National Federation of Families | The National Federation of Families is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and substance use challenges and their families.
MentalHealth.gov | MentalHealth.gov provides one-stop access to U.S. government mental health and mental health problems information.
NAMI, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill | NAMI is an invaluable source of information on mental health and illness. In addition to the mountain of info you’ll find on NAMI’s site, you can also connect with state and local NAMI chapters. The NAMI HelpLine (1.800.950.NAMI) is a free, nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals, and support to people living with a mental health conditions, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public.
NAMI in Spanish | https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Identity-and-Cultural-Dimensions/Hispanic-Latinx/La-salud-mental-en-la-comunidad-latina
Mental Health America | MHA addresses all aspects of mental health and mental illness. Delve into their online resources about mental issues and identify MHA affiliates in your area. https://www.mhanational.org/
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) | At the link below, you can find information on child and adolescent psychiatry, fact sheets for parents and caregivers in English and Spanish, current research, practice guidelines, and managed care information.
AACAP website | https://www.aacap.org/
Facts for Families in Spanish | https://www.aacap.org/aacap/families_and_youth/facts_for_families/Facts_for_Families_Spanish.aspx
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) | AAP offers the family-friendly site called Healthy Children, where you can find a wealth of information in English and Spanish about emotional problems in children.
English | https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/Pages/default.aspx
Spanish | https://www.healthychildren.org/spanish/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/paginas/default.aspx
Mental Help Net | Here, you’ll find a vast amount of info here on specific mental disorders, mental health, wellness, and family and relationship issues and concerns. There’s an especially strong focus on the connection between mental health issues and addiction and substance abuse.
Find mental health services.
Visit the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and use its “Treatment Locator” to identify the range of agencies and mental health assistance available in your state and nationally.
Health care insurance for uninsured children.
Did you know that each state has a health insurance program for children? Children who don’t have health insurance right now are very often eligible for state medical coverage. The insurance is available to children in working families, including families that include individuals with a variety of immigration status. To find out what your state’s policies are, what’s covered, and how to apply, call 1.877.543.7669 or find your state at:
Spanish | https://espanol.insurekidsnow.gov/
Medicaid benefits for mental health services.
If you’re eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to access mental health services through Medicaid. States vary, however, in what types of mental health services they provide under Medicaid.
Find out what your state’s policies and services are, at: https://www.medicaid.gov/state-overviews/index.html
Main website | https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/benefits/behavioral-health-services/children-and-youth/index.html
Looking for info and assistance related to a specific mental condition? In addition to what you’d find by visiting the organizations listed above under “Be Sure to Come Here,” look over the quick alphabetical list below of organizations that focus on a specific mental disorder. They offer in-depth information, support groups, and guidance regarding that disability–perhaps the one of concern to you.
Anxiety Disorders | Visit the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA). Spanish publications and webinars are available, as well as an online support group you can join (https://adaa.org/adaa-grupo-de-apoyo-en-linea).
Bipolar Disorders | If this is your area of concern, try these groups.
International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) | https://ibpf.org/
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance | https://www.dbsalliance.org/
Toll-free number: 1.800.826.3632. Visit website to find a support group near you.
Dually Diagnosed: Mental Illness and Intellectual Disabilities | The National Association for Dually Diagnosed (NADD) focuses upon the needs and issues of individuals who have both mental illness and cognitive impairments or intellectual disabilities, and the professionals and families who share concern for these individuals.
Eating Disorders | The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) works to prevent eating disorders and provide treatment referrals to those suffering from anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder and those concerned with body image and weight issues.
Website in English | https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/
Info in Spanish: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-espanol
OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder | The International OCD Foundation is for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders, their families, friends, professionals and other concerned individuals. Use the foundation’s Resource Directory to find trained therapists and other help in your area.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | For more info and assistance on PTSD, you’ll want to visit the Gateway to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Information.
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