In 1946, coalition of mental health patients, mental health service providers, and interested community members began a local Mental Health Association chapter in Sacramento, which is now known as Mental Health America of Northern California, or NorCal MHA. For nearly 70 years, NorCal MHA has provided mental health consumers with culturally-affirming peer support services, assistance in navigating various human service agencies, and advocacy for consumer-oriented public mental health policies. Currently, NorCal MHA provides these services in Amador, Calaveras, Placer, and Sacramento counties in California, and offers technical assistance to other mental health agencies statewide.
NorCal MHA is dedicated to improving the lives of residents in the diverse communities of California through advocacy, education, research, and culturally relevant services. In all of its programs, NorCal MHA works with individuals and families with mental health challenges to promote wellness and recovery, prevention, and improved access to services and support.
NorCal MHA staff strive to provide peer services that foster recovery, reduce stigma and discrimination, and improve cultural competency through self-help, education, and culturally relevant research.
Mental Health America – National
Mental Health America (MHA) is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. It was established in 1909 by former psychiatric patient, Clifford W. Beers, who witnessed and was subjected to horrible abuse at public and private psychiatric institutions. He believed the abuses he and others experienced were barriers to recovery and treatment. As a result, he set in motion the first consumer-led mental health movement in America.
Today, with 240 affiliates nationwide, MHA works to improve the mental health of all Americans, especially the 54 million individuals living with mental illness, through advocacy, education, research and service. As a result, the experiences of people living with mental illness have vastly improved and they are now able to enjoy more fulfilling, productive lives in their communities.