Mental Health Support Orgs

Illustration of depressed woman

The following are organizations that provide things such as education, campaigns, and ideas for getting help. Screenagers and Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER filmmaker, Delaney Ruston, MD, offers some personal insights for some of the organizations below.

NAMI - The National Alliance on Mental Illness - offers support, education and crisis help.

NAMI is a wonderful organization that I have partnered with to do advocacy with 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, because I wanted to get support to help me process my complicated relationship with him.

NAMI has a great program called Family to Family. They also go into high schools to speak and much more. NAMI has a helpline at 800-950-6264. support resources across the country, with a strong emphasis on psychosis.

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 did short interviews with actors, famous athletes, and others who faced challenging emotions growing up. To help with a discussion about these topics, watching a few of these shorts with your teen could be helpful.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

These are free day-long courses designed to help parents learn how to understand youth mental health issues better and as a parent, things to do. On the website, you can find if there are classes near you.

Mental Health America

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


The international emotional intelligence network researches and shares tools, methods and training to create a kinder, more positive world.


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

Anxiety and Depression Association of America - List of extensively reviewed apps to download for mental health 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.

Phone and Text Lines for Mental health

  • Crisis Text Line is 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. People who volunteer for CT receive 30 hours of training before they start, and they volunteer several hours a month. My good friend is a volunteer, and we spent an afternoon together where she showed me how their training works and examples of the work she does with people  it was powerful. A person can text about anything they are struggling with, and the volunteers are there and provide supportive interactions. Even though it is called Crisis Text, the texter does not have to have an imminent crisis; they get all sorts of people seeking support for things like eating issues, problems with peers, and just people dealing with hard emotions.
  • Talkspace
  • 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, so it is worth checking it out.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255
  • 7 Cups -Connects you to caring listeners for free emotional support
  • Better Help - This is a service that matches you 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.
  • is a free and confidential national hotline that connects callers with resources and support in their area.