Respond to this story
What they say:The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF) is a parent-led, not-for-profit, web-based membership organization of families raising children diagnosed with, or at risk for, early-onset bipolar disorder.
Why visit: The site is heavy on support for parents of bipolar children with message boards and support groups.
What they say: The goal of MACHMH is to educate the public to remove the stigma and barriers associated with children’s mental health disorders, inform families and professionals about children’s mental health issues, services, and resources; provide opportunities for parents and care givers to develop the skills required to effectively advocate for their children; advocate for the appropriate and timely delivery of services to children with emotional or behavioral disorders; advise parents about rights and responsibilities in the multiple systems that serve their children with emotional or behavioral disorders
Why visit: Plenty of information about workshopts that are available, resources in the region, and a variety of publications that are available for download.
What they say: Crisis Connection is a non-profit agency which provides 24-hour crisis counseling by telephone. This service is free, confidential and available 365 days of the year.
Why visit: Although the site does not offer online counseling and is intended to serve only the Twin Cities area, it has a very handy survival resources book online. If you are seeking help for yourself or someone you care about, call (612) 379-6363
What they say: NAMI is a nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses.
Why visit: Quite possibly the most comprehensive listing of information for consumers. Information about particular illnesses, support groups, advocacy, and links to state chapters.
What they say: Assists with the following: concerns or complaints about services, questions about rights, grievances. access to appropriate services, ideas for making services better, general questions or the need for information concerning services for persons with mental disabilities.
Why visit: One of the few direct avenues to contacting state officials for help in areas of mental illness, especially while navigating a clunky system.
What they say: A professional association of therapeutic providers of services for emotionally troubled children, children with behavior problems, and their families.
Why visit: The MCCCA Web site contains a searchable directory on the Treatment page which contains information on programs in Minnesota. Families can also contact the MCCCA office for assistance with information and referral at 651-290-6264.
What they say: An academic and professional magazine, this is a December 2003 issue on bipolar disorder.
Why visit: While the audience for the magazine is usually the health care profession, the magazine has made all of the articles available online for the public.
What they say: Governing is a monthly magazine whose primary audience is state and local government officials: governors, legislators, mayors, city managers, council members and other elected, appointed and career officials.
Why visit: The site's section on mental health contains the report "Promise Unfullfiled," which chronicles a mental health system it says is no more effective than the one it replaced.
What they say: "Each year some one million people worldwide die by their own hand, 30,000 in the U.S., 3,500 in Canada, and 120,000 in Europe, most as a result of depression or bipolar disorder. We who have experienced some of their pain mourn the tragedy, knowing no God would ever judge them harshly. To all those whose lives have been lost and to the friends and family they left behind these pages are lovingly dedicated.
Why visit: The site offers first-person information on struggles with mental illness. John McManamy, the shost, is a former financial journalist with a law degree who has struggled with bipolar disorder most of his life. He also offers a weekly newsletter.
What they say: A number of advocacy groups have joined to promote awareness of people's rights to services if they are enrolled in an HMO or MA and to help people appeal to their plans or file complaints with the state if they are unable to access services they are entitled to.
Why visit: Parents have reported that despite laws, they have difficulty getting the services to which they're entitled. This site makes the rights clear, making it a powerful tool for people to use to demand the services that the state and providers are required to provide.
What they say: Our mission is to reduce the burden of mental illness and behavioral disorders through research on mind, brain, and behavior.
Why visit: The NIMH is the lead Federal agency for research on mental and behavioral disorders. The site caters to health care professionals as well as the general public with extensive information on any every mental illness.
What they say: The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is charged with leading the national system that delivers mental health services. The goal of this system is to provide the treatment and support services needed by adults with mental disorders and children with serious emotional problems.
Why visit: Quick access to regional hotlines and programs listed by age group.
What they say: NMHA was established in 1909 by former psychiatric patient Clifford W. Beers. During his stays in public and private institutions, Beers witnessed and was subjected to horrible abuse. From these experiences, Beers set into motion a reform movement that took shape as the National Mental Health Association.
Why visit: Plenty of consumer information (including tips for those returning from war), but primarily is a tool for those who wish to be involved in advocacy on mental health issues.
What they say: People Incorporated helps people who have mental illness, by providing more than a dozen programs from housing and drop-in to therapeutic gardening and home-health care. People Incorporated also offers several programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, as well as those who are developmentally disabled, chemically dependent, homeless, or have seizure disorders.
Why visit: An extensive listing of available programs, news on case management in the region, and opportunities for volunteering.