Public Assistance

These organizations provide assistance, support, information and advocacy to behavioral health clients, families and service providers. You also can search our nationwide database of support groups at left.

  • Local
    • Mental Health Association of the Central Valley
      Works to improve the mental health of all Americans, especially the 54 million individuals with mental disorders, through advocacy, education, research and service.
    • National Alliance on Mental Illness of Monterey County
      A nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic and other severe anxiety disorders, autism and pervasive developmental disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other severe and persistent mental illnesses that affect the brain.

State/National

  • Al-Anon/Alateen
    For over 50 years, Al-Anon (which includes Alateen for younger members) has been offering hope and help to families and friends of alcoholics. It is estimated that each alcoholic affects the lives of at least four other people… alcoholism is truly a family disease. No matter what relationship you have with an alcoholic, whether they are still drinking or not, all who have been affected by someone else’s drinking can find solutions that lead to serenity in the Al-Anon/Alateen fellowship.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    A fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
  • Alzheimer’s Association
    Seeks to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
  • American Association of People with Disabilities
    A cross-disability member organization dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for Americans with disabilities. AAPD works in coalition with other disability organizations for the full implementation and enforcement of disability nondiscrimination laws.
  • American Lung Association
    Seeks to prevent lung disease and promote lung health through education programs, smoking control and prevention, and environmental advocacy.
  • American Self Help Group Clearinghouse
    Offers a keyword-searchable database of over 1,100 national, international, model and online self-help support groups for addictions, bereavement, health, mental health, disabilities, abuse, parenting, caregiver concerns and other stressful life situations. Also lists local self-help clearinghouses worldwide, research studies, information on starting face-to-face and online groups, and a registry for persons interested in starting national or international self-help groups.
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine
    Seeks to increase access to and improve the quality of addiction treatment. ASAM educates physicians, medical and osteopathic students, and the public as well as promotes research and prevention.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Document Center
    ADA statute, regulations and federally reviewed tech sheets plus links to related sites.
  • ARC of California, The
    The Arc of California is committed to reducing the incidence of developmental disabilities through education, research, advocacy and the support of families, friends and the community through programs such as: bullet Genetic counseling, mandatory immunization programs for children, prenatal, perinatal and postnatal education and health care programs, education, policy and programs that prevent traumatic childhood injuries, newborn screening programs for known metabolic disorders, removal of environmental contaminants.
  • Arc, The
    The Arc of the United States advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Together with our network of members and affiliated chapters, we improve systems of supports and services; connect families; inspire communities and influence public policy.
  • Autism Society of America
    Provides information and referral for families dealing with autism. Connects 20,000 members through a working network of over 200 chapters in nearly every state.

  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
    A nonprofit legal-advocacy organization dedicated to the principle that every individual is entitled to choice and dignity. Goals include community membership; self-determination and choice; ending the punishment of mental-health consumers for the system’s failures; and preserving protections and entitlements.
  • Because I Love You Support Group
    A nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting parents with troubled children of any age, and promotes structure, consequences and consistency in raising kids.
  • California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies (CASRA)
    A statewide association of private, nonprofit community-based agencies providing rehabilitation and support services for adult clients coping with the disabling effects of serious and/or persistent mental illness. CASRA seeks to promote and support the development of community-based systems of services which provide choices for consumers and which are based upon the promise of growth and recovery, to provide leadership and consultation to enhance the development of effective community services which promote self-help and rehabilitation, to address legislative and regulatory issues which affect the provision of mental health services and to facilitate a network for the sharing of ideas, experiences and expertise among association members.
  • California Mental Health Directors Association
    Provides assistance, information, training, and advocacy to the public mental health agencies that are its members.
  • California Network of Mental Health Clients
    The first mental health client-run state organization in the country, it empowers clients of the mental health system through self-help groups and networking statewide.

  • California Office of Patients’ Rights
    Responsible for ensuring that the rights of people who are mentally disabled are understood and observed in acute care facilities.
  • Carter Center Mental Health Program
    Seeks to reduce the stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses; achieve equity for mental health care comparable to other health care; advance promotion, prevention, and early intervention services for children and their families; and increase public awareness worldwide about mental health and mental illness and to stimulate local actions to address those issues.
  • Child Welfare League of America
    An association of 1,000 public and private nonprofit agencies that assist more than 3.5 million abused and neglected children and their families each year with a wide range of services.
  • Children of Alcoholics Foundation
    A national nonprofit organization that provides a range of educational materials and services to help professionals, children and adults break the intergenerational cycle of parental substance abuse.
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America
    Seeks to build and strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create safe, healthy and drug-free communities. The organization supports its members with technical assistance and training, public policy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences and special events.
  • Consumer Center for Health, Education, and Advocacy
    Helps low-income residents navigate through the maze of today’s health care system and get the health care they need.
  • Crystal Meth Anonymous
    Crystal Meth Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women for whom all drugs, specifically Crystal Meth, have become a problem. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stay clean and lead a sober life.
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
    A patient-directed national organization that fosters an environment of understanding about the impact and management of life-threatening mental illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically-based tools and information written in language the general public can understand. The organization supports research to promote more timely diagnosis, develop more effective and tolerable treatments and discover a cure.
  • Disability Rights California
    Works in partnership with people with disabilities – to protect, advocate for and advance their human, legal and service rights. 1330 Broadway, Suite 500, Oakland, CA 94612. Telephone: (510) 267-1200.
  • Drug Policy Alliance
    The Drug Policy Alliance envisions a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, and in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more.

  • Dual Diagnosis Website
    Provides information and resources for service providers, consumers, and family members who are seeking assistance andor education in this field.

  • Dual Recovery Anonymous
    A 12 Step self-help program that is based on the principals of the Twelve Steps and the experiences of men and women in recovery with a dual diagnosis. The DRA program helps people recover from both their chemical dependencies and their emotional or psychiatric illnesses by focusing on relapse prevention and actively improving the quality of their lives.
  • Faces and Voices of Recovery
    A national campaign of individuals and organizations joining together to advocate for public action to deliver the power, possibility and proof of recovery. Faces & Voices of Recovery supports local recovery advocacy by increasing access to research, policy, organizing and technical support; facilitating relationships among local and regional groups; improving access to policymakers and the media; and providing a national rallying point for recovery advocates.

  • Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
    Strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
  • Gift from Within
    A nonprofit organization dedicated to those who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for traumatized individuals.
  • GLBT National Help Center
    Providdes free and confidential telephone and emial peer counseling, information and local resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendcer and questioning callers throughout the United States.
  • Hazelden
    Helps more people sustain lifelong recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs and accomplishes this through a commitment to treatment, publishing, education, research, public advocacy and shared learning with other organizations.
  • Healthy Minds
    This consumer-oriented Web site seeks to inform and educate the public about mental health treatment and resources. The site features many common mental health concerns, treatment options and prevention measures.
  • Institute for Recovery and Community Integration
    Works to introduce and advance communities’ understanding of recovery and community integration as the catalyst for transforming individual lives, communities, and all levels of behavioral health systems in a culturally competent manner.
  • Join Together
    Provides information, strategic planning assistance, and leadership development for community-based efforts to advance effective alcohol and drug policy, prevention, and treatment.
  • Mental Health America
    Nonprofit organization addresses all aspects of mental health and mental illness through more than 340 affiliates nationwide. MHA works to improve the mental health of all Americans, especially the 54 million individuals with mental disorders, through advocacy, education, research and service.
  • MPD-SUPPORT – Myeloproliferative Disease Support
    Offers information and a daily email digest on chronic myelogenous leukemia, polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, agnogenic myeloid metaplasia, myelodysplasia, and myelofibrosis.
  • Nar-Anon Family Group
    Nar-Anon Family Group is primarily for those who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of a family member or friend. The program, which is not a religious one but a spiritual way of life, is based on the 12 suggested steps of Narcotics Anonymous. Working with these steps will bring the solution to practically any problem.
  • Narcotics Anonymous
    provides a recovery process and support network inextricably linked together. One of the keys to NA’s success is the therapeutic value of addicts working with other addicts. Members share their successes and challenges in overcoming active addiction and living drug-free productive lives through the application of the principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA. These principles are the core of the Narcotics Anonymous recovery program.
  • National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment (NAABT)
    A non-profit organization with the mission to educate the public about the disease of opioid addiction and the buprenorphine treatment option; help reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with patients with addiction disorders; and serve as a conduit connecting patients in need of treatment to qualified treatment providers.
  • National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA)
    An organization composed of methadone patients and health care professionals who are supporters of quality opiate agonist treatment. NAMA has thousands of members worldwide with a network of international affiliated organizations and chapters in many places in the United States. Its primary objective is to advocate for the patient in treatment by destigmatizing and empowering methadone patients. First and foremost, NAMA confronts the negative stereotypes that impact on the self-esteem and worth of many methadone patients with a powerful affirmation of pride and unity
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
    A nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorders.

  • National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP)
    Represents almost 200 not-for-profit and for-profit providers (free standing and hospital based programs, which offer a full continuum of care from outpatient, partial hospitalization and inpatient rehabilitation regimes. Acts as the voice of private alcoholism and drug dependency treatment programs throughout the U.S.
  • National Association of Peer Specialists
    A private, nonprofit organization dedicated to peer support in mental health systems and promoting peer specialists throughout the United States. Offers members a quarterly newsletter, discounts on recovery-oriented materials and provides access to recovery and peer support information.
  • National Association of Peer Specialists (NAPS)
    A private, nonprofit organization dedicated to peer support in mental health systems and promoting peer specialists throughout the United States. Offers members a quarterly newsletter, discounts on recovery-oriented materials and provides access to recovery and peer support information.

  • National Empowerment Center
    A consumer/survivor/expatient-run organization that carries the message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing to people who have been diagnosed with mental illness.
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Conducts and supports biomedical and behavioral research and research training in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. The Institute also conducts and supports research and research training related to disease prevention and health promotion; addresses special biomedical and behavioral problems associated with people who have communication impairments or disorders; and supports efforts to create devices which substitute for lost and impaired sensory and communication function.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Offers separate sections designed for researchers and health professionals; teachers and parents; and students.
  • National Latino Behavioral Health Association
    Provides national leadership for the advancement of Latino behavioral health services and seeks to reduce the disparities that exist in areas of access, utilization, practice based research and adequately trained personnel.

  • National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse
    A consumer-run national technical assistance center serving the mental-health consumer movement. It helps connect individuals to self-help and advocacy resources and offers expertise to self-help groups and other peer-run services for mental-health consumers.
  • National Organization on Disability
    Helps people with disabilities participate equally in a variety of basic life activities such as employment and income, education, community participation and socialization, transportation, political participation, health care, religious participation, and use of technology.
  • Nicotine Anonymous
    Nonprofit 12 Step Fellowship of men and women helping each other live nicotine-free lives. Nicotine Anonymous welcomes all those seeking freedom from nicotine addiction, including those using cessation programs and nicotine withdrawal aids. The primary purpose of Nicotine Anonymous is to help all those who would like to cease using tobacco and nicotine products in any form. The Fellowship offers group support and recovery using the 12 Steps as adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous to achieve abstinence from nicotine.
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy
    Establishes policies, priorities, and objectives for the nation’s drug control program. The goals of the program are to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.
  • Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
    Promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.
  • QuitNet – Quit All Together
    Provides comprehensive smoking cessation resources, counseling, and community support for people trying to give up smoking.
  • Regional Resource and Federal Centers (RRFC) Network
    Assists state education agencies in the systemic improvement of education programs, practices, and policies that affect children and youth with disabilities. These centers offer consultation, information services, technical assistance, training, and product development.
  • Section 8 Made Simple
    A guide to the federally funded Housing Choice Voucher Program. Section 8 provides housing assistance to low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities. The guide, written by the Technical Assistance Collaborative, offers comprehensive information on Section 8, including updated info on the Homeownership Program.
  • Smokefree.gov
    Provides an online step-by-step cessation guide; local and state telephone quitlines; National Cancer Institute’s national telephone quitline and instant messaging services and publications which can be downloaded, printed or ordered.
  • Strength of Us
    An online community designed to empower young adults through resource sharing and peer support, and to build connections for those navigating the unique challenges and opportunities in the transition-age years.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
    Offers legislative information, mental health services, addiction treatment, prevention, statistics and data, workplace resources and policy issues.
  • Center for Mental Health Services
    Provides information about mental health via a toll-free telephone number (800-789-2647), this Web site, and more than 600 publications. The National Mental Health Information Center was developed for users of mental health services and their families, the general public, policy makers, providers, and the media.
  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
    Provides national leadership in the development of policies, programs and services to prevent the onset of illegal drug use, to prevent underage alcohol and tobacco use, and to reduce the negative consequences of using substances.
  • Drug Prevention Resources
    Giving young people the facts about what drugs are out there and what they can do is a critical first step in prevention.
  • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
    Promotes the quality and availability of community-based substance abuse treatment services for individuals and families who need them. CSAT works with States and community-based groups to improve and expand existing substance abuse treatment services under the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program. CSAT also supports SAMHSA’s free treatment referral service to link people with the community-based substance abuse services they need.
  • TASH
    An international association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals fighting for a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm. TASH supports the inclusion and full participation of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of their communities as determined by personalized visions of quality of life.
  • Treatment Advocacy Center
    A national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses. The Treatment Advocacy Center promotes laws, policies, and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into the causes of severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Treatment Advocacy Center
    A national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating legal and clinical barriers to timely and humane treatment for millions of Americans with severe brain disorders who are not receiving appropriate medical care. The center serves as a catalyst to achieve proper balance in judicial and legislative decisions that affect the lives of persons with serious brain disorders.
  • United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA)
    An organization of psychosocial rehabilitation agencies, practitioners, and interested organizations and individuals dedicated to promoting, supporting and strengthening community-oriented rehabilitation services and resources for persons with psychiatric dis­abilities.