History

MHAFC was founded in 1956 as an affiliate of Mental Health America, the country’s oldest and largest mental health not-for-profit organization. With 240 affiliates nationwide, Mental Health America works to improve the mental health of all Americans, especially the 54 million individuals with mental disorders, through advocacy, education, research and service.

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. From these experiences, Beers set into motion a reform movement that took shape as Mental Health America.

The work of Mental Health America work has resulted in positive change. We have educated millions about mental illnesses and reduced barriers to treatment and services. As a result of Mental Health America’s efforts, many Americans with mental disorders have sought care and now enjoy fulfilling, productive lives in their communities.