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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Resource Organizations

The Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment
The Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment is a project of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, in partnership with the National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The Center works to advance effective mental health practices and supports by developing and disseminating information on best practices that are culturally relevant and seek to reduce prejudicial attitudes towards people with mental health conditions. The core programs of the project include the Resource Development Program and the Promising Practices Program. These programs are supported by three teams, which focus on the following areas: research, evaluation, and program development; training, technical assistance, and consultation; and outreach and communication. Resources include a registry of California-based programs, a variety of program improvement toolkits, and materials on educating and combating prejudiced attitudes.

Reach Out
ReachOut serves as a support to youth through media. Although this organization started in Australia years ago, they work with young people in the U.S., including youth council members, volunteers, and peer supporters, to build a support community that can address youth's issues related to mental health issues and suicide ideation. The ReachOut Web site includes information on common issues among teens and young adults such as anxiety, depression, and school pressure. It also provides an outlet where youth can share their stories and read about how others cope.

Empowerment Initiatives
Empowerment Initiatives is a consumer-run nonprofit organization that seeks to empower individuals with mental disorders to achieve their goals. Through their peer mentor services, they provide support to individuals with mental health challenges and group activities that help individuals build social skills and connect with community resources. Also, the Empowerment Initiative Web site includes a media guide with suggestions on language to use, and not to use, when reporting on mental disorders.

The Empowerment Network
The Empowerment Network is a collaborative effort of Omaha, NE residents, community organizations, faith communities, government agencies, and other local groups and organizations working to improve their community. The focus of this network is to address disparities that exist within key systems such as employment, education, health, media, and other key community components that impact the quality of life for individuals and families in the Omaha region. The Network identifies gaps that are not served, identifies partners that can fill the need, and then encourages or initiates collaborations to promote progress.

National Wellness Institute
The National Wellness Institute, Inc. (NWI) provides wellness professionals with current health promotion and wellness- related resources and services for professional growth. Some of the continuing education and professional development programs provided through the NWI include monthly webinars, NWI certifications, and current wellness news in the form of press releases, newsfeeds, and podcasts.

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
VVA is an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans, creating a new identity for this generation of veterans, and changing public perception of Vietnam veterans. The Veterans Health Council, a program of VVA, serves as an information source for Vietnam veterans and veterans of more recent wars; it aims to ensure that veterans and their families are aware of health issues and available military benefits, to educate providers and educational institutions about health issues associated with military service, and to support veterans' healthcare initiatives.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
IAVA is the country's first and largest nonprofit organization working to improve the lives of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans and their families. IAVA is dedicated to educating the public about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; advocating on behalf of those who have served; and fostering a community for troops, veterans, and their families.

Time to Change
Time to Change is England's most ambitious program to end discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems. With 35 projects led by Mind and Rethink, the program is backed by international evidence on what works and has at its heart people with direct experience with mental health problems.

Founded in 1879, Together is the United Kingdom's longest serving mental health charity. The organization focuses on supporting people in their recovery from serious mental health problems.

Real Warriors Campaign
The Real Warriors Campaign is a program of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. It promotes the reintegration of returning service members with their families and communities.

Open Minds, Open Doors
Open Minds Open Doors is the latest social inclusion campaign of the Wisconsin United for Mental Health (WUMH) statewide coalition. Launched in May 2007, the campaign consists of a series of radio public service announcements in which listeners are asked to support the statements on the WUMH Web site. Listeners can sign their name to show support for people with mental health issues and their beliefs that these individuals should be treated with respect as contributing members of the community.

In Our Own Voice
In Our Own Voice, a program of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a unique informational outreach program, that offers insight into the recovery that is possible for people with severe mental illnesses. The program aims "to meet the need for consumer-run education initiatives, to set a standard for quality education about mental illness from those who have been there, to offer genuine work opportunities for consumers, to encourage self-confidence and self-esteem in presenters, and to focus on recovery and the message of hope."

Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family
Nothing To Hide: Mental Illness in the Family is a touring photo and text exhibit that was developed by the Family Diversity Project, a nonprofit educational organization based in Amherst, MA. The exhibit, which debuted in 1999-2000, presents a collection of museum-quality photographs and the text of interviews that tell poignant stories of courageous individuals and their families whose lives are affected by mental health problems. The exhibit also is available in book form, featuring portraits and stories of 44 families who defy the prejudice so often held against individuals with mental health challenges by speaking candidly about their lives.

Entertainment Industries Council
A non-profit organization founded in 1983 by leaders in the entertainment industry to provide information, awareness and understanding of major health and social issues among the entertainment industries and to audiences at large

The Carter Center
The Carter Center focuses on mental health policy through several goals. First, it aims to increase worldwide public awareness of mental health issues. It also does work to support development of public policy to promote social inclusion and the best possible quality of life for people with mental health and substance use problems. Additionally, the center works to make mental health care as high in quality and accessible as other health care, and to reduce inaccurate perceptions of people with lived experience of mental health and substance use problems.

Rosalyn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism
The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism program, created in 1996, is part of a national effort to reduce negative attitudes and discrimination associated with mental illnesses. The fellowship program aims to increase accurate reporting on mental health issues; help journalists produce high-quality work that reflects an understanding of mental health issues through exposure to well-established resources in the field; and develop a cadre of better-informed print and electronic journalists

Movie Monday
Begun in 1993 by a mental health consumer, Movie Monday is a weekly film series offered in the auditorium of a psychiatric hospital in Canada. The series is designed for people with mental health problems, their families, and the general public. It features a mix of films to educate people and break down stereotypes and misconceptions about people with mental health and substance use problems.

Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry Center for Mental Health and Media
The mission of the Center for Mental Health and Media is to save lives, comfort and educate families, and to change the public's outdated and inaccurate perceptions of the nature, causes and treatment of mental illness. To do this, they connect some of the most powerful forces in today's society the mass media with one of the most pressing health and economic issues in both the industrialized and underdeveloped worlds: mental health.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a nationwide peer-led organization that provides education on depression and bipolar disorder, training of peer specialists, more than 700 peer support groups across the United States, and information for the media and general public. Through its Web site, DBSA offers overviews of depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder; educational podcasts and videos; information about treatment options; and links to screening and wellness tools. It also provides information to help people register for peer specialist training. The organization hosts an annual conference and publishes several free email newsletters.

Mental Health America
Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With our more than 240 affiliates nationwide, they represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation - everyday and in times of crisis.

Wisconsin United for Mental Health
Wisconsin United for Mental Health is a coalition of State, nonprofit, advocacy, and consumer mental health organizations formed in 2002. The coalition actively promotes mental health awareness and eliminates barriers to recovery through statewide activities and events including Webcasts, trainings, presentations for the public, and the support of local legislator and media briefing activities.

Open the Doors
Open the Doors is an international program that was developed by the World Psychiatric Association in 1996. Created to fight the prejudice and discrimination experienced by people with schizophrenia, the program helps dispel myths and misunderstandings about the nature, causes, and treatment of schizophrenia. It provides information for professionals, families, and friends on recovery and also has a section on its Web site with personal stories from people with schizophrenia.

Project Relate
Project Relate, an advertising and public service campaign serving Nebraska, was launched on April 7, 2004. Developed through the cooperative efforts of Nebraska mental health service providers, advocacy groups, and nonprofit organizations, the campaign aims to increase awareness and improve public perceptions of people with mental illnesses with their message "You are not alone." In addition to addressing negative misconceptions and providing mental health education, Project Relate operates a clearinghouse of mental health resources for the entire State.

Mindframe National Media Initiative
A program of the Australian government, the Mindframe National Media Initiative does work to promote mass media portrayals of mental health problems and suicide that are accurate and do not perpetuate biases and stereotypes toward people with lived experience of mental health problems, suicidal ideation, or suicide attempts. To promote such portrayals, Mindframe works not only with the media, but also with people in sectors that shape what appears in the media. In keeping with this collaboration with many sectors, Mindframe’s Web site features resources for mental health and suicide prevention professionals, universities, professionals in stage drama and movies, police, and court systems, as well as the media.

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.