mental-health-bell

Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness. — Inscription on Mental Health Bell

THE MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION IN TOMPKINS COUNTY
“To Understand and Improve the Mental Health of Our Community”

The Tompkins County chapter of the Mental Health Association was established in 1954, to address mental health needs in the Ithaca community. The MHATC’s annual budget is funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH), the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (NYS OPWDD), The United Way, individual grants, and private donations.

MHATC MISSION STATEMENT

“In cooperation with the Mental Health Association in New York State and the Mental Health America, this Association will develop and maintain a coordinated citizens’ movement, with participation from recipients of mental health services to work toward empowering individuals, families, and groups through advocacy and the provision of services which promote mental health, and educating and information to the general public about mental health issues.”

The MHATC works to fulfill its mission through four major program areas: Adult Advocacy, Family Support Services, Peer Support and Community Education.

The MHATC is committed to developing and supporting the active involvement of ordinary people (including providers, family members and recipients) in all aspects of mental health; these include the definition of needs, the promotion of community and the provision of services. We also support the human and civil rights of people who use mental health services, and will educate the community on all perspectives concerning mental health and mental health disabilities.

A United Way Agency, the MHATC is an affiliate of the Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS). MHANYS is an affiliate of Mental Health America (MHA).

Maryland Gov. Theodore McKeldin and Mrs. A. Felix DuPont in 1953 pour the metal made from melted chains used to restrain people with mental illnesses to create the Mental Health Bell.

Maryland Gov. Theodore McKeldin and Mrs. A. Felix DuPont in 1953 pour the metal made from melted chains used to restrain people with mental illnesses to create the Mental Health Bell.

The Mental Health Bell: A Symbol of Hope

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 illnesses.


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The MHATC offices are located at:
301 South Geneva Street, Suite 109
Ithaca, New York 14850

Phone: (607) 273-9250

Fax: (607) 272-5343

Email: info@mhaedu.org

Our hours are:
Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 4:30pm
We are closed on federally observed holidays and daily from 12:30pm – 1:30pm for a staff hour.