Our Mission and History
We've worked for over 100 years to bring about effective treatments, enlightened ideas, and a just system of care so that people recovering their mental health can get back to happy and productive lives in the community.
It all started because he wrote it down
Our work began with a consumer. Around the 1900s, young Clifford Beers (right) was overcome with symptoms of a mental disorder that might today be called Bipolar Illness. After a suicide attempt, he experienced many of the ineffective treatments and cruel conditions in many of Connecticut's institutions of the day in over three years of hospitalization. Recovering his reason by his own wits and vowing to make a difference, he set himself to the task of reform.
His autobiography chronicled his journey back to health and the harsh, unscientific handlings he'd suffered. By the time of his death in 1943, A Mind That Found Itself had twenty five printings and its author was known all over the world. In conjunction with the first publication in 1908, Beers launched the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene from his home in New Haven. This is our founding and our legacy. Watch and learn more:
Beers also was instrumental in rallying influencial people to form the National Society for Mental Hygiene in 1909; today it is known as Mental Health America.