The Mental Health Association in Delaware (MHA) was incorporated in 1932 as the Delaware State Society for Mental Hygiene. In 1951 the Society’s name was changed to the Mental Health Association in Delaware.
The original purpose and objectives were “to work for the conservation of mental hygiene, to aid in the prevention of nervous and mental disorders and mental defects, to help raise the standards of the care and treatment for those suffering from any of these disorders and defects, to secure and disseminate reliable information on these subjects, to cooperate with state and local agencies or officials, and with the public and private agencies whose work is in any way related.”
The Society had the following areas of focus:
- Human Relations In The Classroom Program
- Mental Health in Industry
- Service to hospitalized patients
Over the years the objectives, programs, understanding of mental illness and terminology have changed but the core focus of education, support and advocacy has not changed.
The Mental Health Association is now an affiliate of the National Mental Health Association, Mental Health America and is a Community Outreach Partner for the National Institute of Mental Health. MHA is the only non-profit organization in Delaware that is dedicated to the goal of early intervention and prevention of mental health problems in children and adults. MHA was recognized as a “Healthy Delaware Hero” in the recently published Healthy Delaware 2010 Prevention Agenda for its work in improving the mental health of Delaware’s citizens.
Unlike other state mental health agencies that provide treatment, the objectives of the Mental Health Association are to offer a spectrum of outreach activities encouraging Delaware’s citizens to gain awareness of and to get help for depression and anxiety disorders.