The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) now Mental Health America is the United States’ oldest and largest non-profit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illnesses. NMHA was established in 1909 by former psychiatric patient Clifford W. Beers. During his stays in public and private institutions, Beers witnessed and experienced horrible abuse. Out of this pain, Beers set into motion a reform movement that took shape as the National Mental Health Association. His book “A Mind That Found Itself” is available for loan in the local MHA office.
In 1937, a number of foresighted individuals from several Lancaster County organizations began planning the establishment of a clinic for children and adults needing psychological and psychiatric services. Between 1937 and 2008, The Lancaster Mental Hygiene Society became Lancaster County Mental Health Association established as a non-profit organization whose purpose is to work for the prevention of mental disorders and handicaps and the promotion of mental health. In 1977, the organization’s name was officially changed to MHA in Lancaster County, and in 2007 to Mental Health America of Lancaster County.