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
- New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH)
- New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (NYS OPWDD)
- The United Way
- Individual grants
- 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 five major program areas:
- The Jenkins (drop-in) Center for Hope and Recovery
- Peer Support and Peer Training
- Children and Family Treatment Services
- Youth Services
- Adult Services
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.