Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit mental health organization working with recovery, wellness and healing as the foundational tenets behind our educational peer-run programs. We are the state-level representative for a national network that includes ten community-based affiliates in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Founded in 1937, MHAV is the oldest mental health advocacy organization in Virginia. We have been associated with our national affiliate since 1951, and we work closely with service providers and peers to complement an individual’s recovery. Our programs include educational retreats for people of lived experience with mental health and/or substance use issues and trauma who are now on a recovery path; a Warm Line telephone service for anyone in Virginia who needs a listening ear or wants a service referral in the state; a professional development network to support Virginia’s peer recovery specialists; and expand advocacy and educational campaigns that promote the voice of people with lived experience to change public policies for the betterment of all Virginians’ lives.
MISSION: To educate, empower and advocate on behalf of individuals, communities and organizations to improve mental health and reduce the conditions which impede mental wellness.
VISION: MHAV’s vision is that all people in Virginia achieve optimal mental wellness.
What does MHAV do?
MHAV advocates for public and private sector services and financing to ensure adequate and appropriate detection, treatment, housing, and rehabilitation programs. MHAV collaborates with consumers, families of consumers, mental health professionals, providers and the public to ensure that policy makers and stakeholders are aware of the concerns and needs of people in recovery.
MHAV also educates the public about mental health and mental wellness to eliminate the stigma which prevents people from receiving the help they need.
More about MHA
Mental Health America was established in 1909 by former psychiatric patient Clifford W. Beers. During his stays in public and private institutions, Beers witnessed and was subjected to horrible abuse. Beers wrote a book about his experience in both private and public institutions in A Mind that Found Itself, a book that is in its 41st reprint. From a well-to-do family with a history of mental illness, Beers’ book placed him at the forefront of a national patient-advocacy movement to prevent and treat mental illness.
Find their website here: www.mentalhealthamerica.net
Episode 35 of Voices of Recovery originally aired on WRIR 97.3 on April 19th, 2012. This episode focuses on Clifford Beers, the founder of Mental Health America.