About Mental Health America of San Diego County
Inspired by the courage of our national organization, the Mental Health America of San Diego County (MHASD) was founded in 1942 as the first mental health advocacy organization in San Diego County. MHASD brings together clients, families, professionals, providers, community leaders, and the public to collaborate, cooperate, and ensure available affordable care to all citizens. Over the years, MHASD has offered numerous programs and services focused on the following four areas: Advocacy, Education, Services, and Research.
The Story of Our Symbol
Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness...
During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained people who had mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped.
In the early 1950s, Mental Health America issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles. On April 13, 1956, at the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Md., Mental Health America melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: The Mental Health Bell.
Now the symbol of Mental Health America, the 300-pound Bell serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses.
Today, the Mental Health Bell rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.
Over the years, national mental health leaders and other prominent individuals have rung the Bell to mark the continued progress in the fight for victory over mental illness.
Source: Mental Health America. Copyright Mental Health America.
Our Commitment To Anti-Racism
Mental Health America is committed to advancing an anti-racist agenda and promoting health equity. We affirm the importance of mental health advocacy and recognize that racial injustice has caused trauma and harm to minoritized communities. We acknowledge that combating racism and inequity is an ongoing commitment. The impact of economic, clinical, and environmental disparities, including diverse linguistic needs, may hinder the opportunity to access and receive quality and equitable mental health care and services. Thus, we remain devoted to addressing discrimination, stigma, and other social and moral determinants of health, leading by example and educating our affiliates and communities. Together, we stand united in support of racial justice and the intersection of mental health, and the well-being of humanity.