Inscribed on the “Mental Health Bell” is the following:
“Cast from the shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness.”
“We strive to promote mental health acceptance and support to all persons in our community. We offer many different resources to assist anyone who wants or needs assistance or information for themselves or someone else. We have no political or religious affiliation and all walks of life are welcome here.”
The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County is a non-profit, non-governmental agency that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons affected by mental illness through advocacy, education, and support services.
1909 . MENTAL HEALTH WAS FOUNDED
Based in Alexandria, Virginia, Mental Health America was founded in 1909 by Clifford W. Beers, a former psychiatric patient. During his stays in public and private mental institutions, Beers witnessed and was subjected to horrible abuse. From these experiences, Beers set into motion a reform movement that took shape as the National Mental Health Association and through his book, A Mind that Found Itself. Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts served as the agency’s first president.
1946 . FORSYTH MENTAL HYGIENE SOCIETY
The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County was established in 1946, as the ‘Forsyth Mental Hygiene Society.’
1953 . MENTAL HEALTH BELL
The logo of Mental Health America and The Mental Health Association is the “Mental Health Bell.” During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained persons with mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. In the early 1950s, the, then, National Mental Health Association issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles. On April 13, 1953, at the McShane Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland, the 300 pound “Mental Health Bell” was recast from these inhuman bindings and turned into a sign of hope. The “Mental Health Bell” is now located at the national office of Mental Health America.
1983. PARTNER WITH FORSYTH COUNTY UNITED WAY
Incorporated in 1972, The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County became a United Way partner agency in 1983. The mission of The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County is to “improve the quality of life for persons affected by mental illness through advocacy, education, and support services.” The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County works for improved services for children and adults with mental health needs.