Mental Health Support Orgs

Illustration of depressed woman



The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers support, education and crisis help. It's a wonderful organization that I have partnered with to do advocacy work through some of my past films. Check out all they do. NAMI has local branches nationwide. They offer all sorts of support groups and in fact, I used to attend one in Seattle when I was working on a film about my father who had Schizophrenia. I wanted to get support in processing my complicated relationship with him.
NAMI has a great program called Family to Family. They also speak at high schools. The number for their helpline is 800-950-6264.

Child Mind Institute

For online information about children and teens, the Child Mind Institute has some unique resources. They did a month-long campaign called My Younger Self, where they conducted short interviews with actors, famous athletes, and others who faced challenging emotions growing up. To provoke a discussion about these topics, watch a few of these shorts with your teen.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

These are free day-long courses designed to help parents understand youth mental health issues and how to help. On the website, you can find classes near you.

Mental Health America

This organization has affiliates across the country, many programs, and works to increase mental health access locally and nationally. The help page on their website is helpful for the nuts and bolts of finding mental health support.

Six Seconds

The international emotional intelligence network provides tools, methods and training to facilitate a kinder, more positive world.


Born This Way Foundation works to build a “braver, kinder world" for youth by creating safe spaces, promoting the learning of life and self-care skills and providing opportunities to improve youths' local communities across the country.


The Trevor Project

Offers LGBTQ+ youth resources, tools and phones lines to chat with counselors 24/7, confidentially and for free. You can also text their help line "START" at 678-678 to get support.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Hotline

1-800-662-HELP (4357) is a 24-hour free and confidential line to go to for treatment referral and information.

Crisis Text Line

Free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line trains volunteers to support people in crisis.
This organization is a resource that many youth and adults report using and feeling helped by. People who volunteer for CT receive 30 hours of training before they start and they volunteer for several hours a month.


I spoke with one of the executives at Talkspace, who told me they have more of an "active listener" model than Crisis Text. Their volunteers do not receive a lot of training and therefore do not engage in more complex interactions, but they do provide solid active listening, which can be helpful for some. The people at Talkspace are very dedicated, and they have many interesting offerings on their site, such as groups for parents.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 988 for free and confidential support offered 24 hours a day.

7 Cups

Connects you to caring listeners for free emotional support. Ability to talk to volunteer listeners or pursue online therapy with licensed therapists.

Better Help

This is an affordable service that matches users with online counselors.

Boys Town National Hotline

1-800-448-3000. 24-hour, free, confidential hotline staffed by trained counselors for boys and girls to receive help with bullying, anger, abuse, depression, school issues and more.

Free and confidential national hotline that connects callers with resources and support in their area.