Since 1909, Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) has worked to promote mental health, prevent mental illnesses and improve the care and treatment of people suffering from mental and emotional disorders. Our three main focus areas are to educate, to advocate and to inform.
As supporters, we know that mental health is vital to overall well-being and that countless people remain silent sufferers to diseases that cannot be seen. This is a battle that we must face as a united front, which is why advocates like YOU are critically important to help make change!
We are focused on promoting publicly-funded mental health services in Illinois for adults and children – to be both affordable and accessible. MHAI advocates for related legislation to eliminate medication Step Therapy and support Insurance Parity, as well as policies and practices that support adequate mental health services.
For more than 100 years, Mental Health America of Illinois has been the leading non-profit, non-governmental, statewide organization in Illinois concerned with the entire spectrum of mental and emotional disorders. We are dedicated to promoting mental health, working for the prevention of mental illness and improving care and treatment for persons suffering from mental and emotional disorders. MHAI develops and supports policy positions on key mental health issues by working with legislators, state agencies and other not-for-profit groups to advocate for improved services. We sponsor occasional seminars and educational events on key clinical and policy issues.
MHAI is an affiliate of the national nonprofit, Mental Health America.
WHO WE ARE
The mission of MHAI can only be achieved through the dedication of volunteers, and MHAI is thankful for those who have chosen to take on leadership positions.
Honorable Thomas J. Dart
Cook County Sherriff
Daniel Conti, PhD
JP Morgan Chase
CEO, Metropolitan Family Services
Al Orsello, MS
The Prevention Partnership
Honorable Matthew O’Shea
Alderman of the 19th Ward
Reverend Charles T. Ruby
Founder, Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS)
Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership
Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of People With Disabilities
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Director and President
Joseph Troiani, PhD, CADC
Owner, Sugar Fixe Patisserie
Owner, Flourish Cake Design
Rebecca Ogrodny, M.Ed
Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor
Owner, Empower Mental Health
Immediate Past President
Deputy Commissioner, DFSS
Executive Director, Chicago Area Agency on Aging
Social Worker, Moving Everest Charter School
Mailee Ua Garcia
Senior Director, Marketing Communications, Heartland Alliance
Mark Heyrman, J.D.
University of Chicago Law School
Nneka Jones Tapia, Psy.D
Leader in Residence, Chicago Beyond
Senior Associate, Luisi Legal Group
Vice Chair, Community Mental Health Board
Retired, NW Memorial Hospital
Cristina M. Villarreal
Director of Public Affairs, Chicago
Dept. of Family and Support Services
Chief Marketing Officer, Fidelity Life and Efinancial
Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) is an independent affiliate of the national organization, Mental Health America. MHAI’s partnership with Mental Health America and our five other independent Illinois affiliates supports our goal to create a unified mental health movement in Illinois. Working together at the national and local level will continue to increase awareness and build support for mental health.
Mental Health America (MHA) – National Office
(800) 969 – 6642
Mental Health America of the North Shore (MHANS)
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, 1953, 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.