Support & Advocacy

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.

Children’s Aid Society of Mercer County
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Works to identify and provide services to improve the quality of life for children and families, in collaboration and cooperation with other agencies and services as may be appropriate.

Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission
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Counseling and rehabilitative services are provided through the 166 MCBHC contracted provider agencies throughout the county and state.

Arc of Pennsylvania
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Advocates for having people with intellectual and developmental disabilities fully participate in civil, social, educational, health and employment activities in the communities in which they reside, with the opportunity to grow to their fullest potential in every way.

Autism Link
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Provides information about the legal rights of children with autism.

Center for Disability Law and Policy
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A non-profit public interest law center that provides advocacy and legal services to individuals with disabilities throughout Pennsylvania. It was established in 1976 as Southeastern Pennsylvania Legal Services for the Deaf and has served as the state-wide advocate for persons with disabilities seeking or receiving services under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 since 1981, and in this capacity administers the Client Assistance Program (CAP). The Center also represents individuals with claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and has substantial experience with the litigation of employment discrimination cases.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Services (COMPASS)
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Allows users to learn more about, screen for, apply for, and renew various Social Services offered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance
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A patient-directed organization focusing on the most prevalent mental illnesses – depression and bipolar disorder. The organization fosters an understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically-based tools and information written in language the general public can understand.

Depression and Bipolar Support in Spanish
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The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has created a Spanish-language Web site to help Spanish-speaking individuals with depression and bipolar disorder and their caregivers. The Web site fosters an environment of understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically-based tools and information.

Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
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A federally funded, nonprofit agency responsible for providing protection and advocacy services to people with disabilities and mental health issues.

Foster Parent Association
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Advocates for children and their families and seeks to involve all parts of the community to improve the quality of family life in Pennsylvania and to influence child welfare policy and practice, both nationally and internationally.

Governor's Commission for Children & Families
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Assists and advises the Governor and Children’s Cabinet on various cross system issues, and seeks to help improve the delivery of state and local services to children and families.

Heart 2 Heart Parent Support Group
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Offers parents a unique option in the realm of support. They give them more than an outlet to vent, they share the information which enables care givers to understand their child/children, some for the first time.

Juvenile Law Center
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Seeks to ensure that the child welfare, juvenile justice and other public systems provide vulnerable children with the protection and services they need to become happy, healthy and productive adults.

Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania
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Works on behalf of mental health through advocacy, education and public policy.

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Pennsylvania
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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.

Open Minds Open Doors
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A Pennsylvania initiative aimed at ending discrimination against people with mental illnesses and educating the public about mental illnesses, and the legal rights of people living with a mental illness.

Pennsylvania Al-Anon and Alateen
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Offers help for younger members seeking guidance while walking through life with an alcoholic parent, other close relative or friend. Teens meet to share their experience, strength and hope, gaining a better understanding of the disease of alcoholism and themselves. The support found in Alateen helps with personal development and the troubled thinking that is often associated with growing up in an alcoholic home.

Pennsylvania Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition
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A statewide coalition of individuals and organizations concerned about the unmet mental health and substance abuse needs of older adults across the Commonwealth. As a coalition, regional groups representing Northeast, Northwest, Central, Southeast and Southwest Pennsylvania work together on local and statewide levels in order to collaboratively address the mental health/substance abuse needs of older adults.

Pennsylvania Health Law Project
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A nationally recognized expert and consultant on access to health care for low-income consumers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, engaging in direct advocacy on behalf of individual consumers while working on the kinds of health policy changes that promise the most to the Pennsylvanians in greatest need.

Pennsylvania Insurance Department
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Provides an objective source of information to help consumers understand the complexities of insurance coverage, and to provide a premier regulatory environment which promotes the best insurance marketplace to serve consumers.

Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association
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A statewide membership organization representative of the individual and collective expression of people who have recovered or are recovering from mental illness, seeking to improve the quality of our lives through advocacy, education and the elimination of stigma and discrimination.

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General: Health Care
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Seeks to help Pennsylvanians secure the treatment they need and protect the public from unfair health care practices and help shape Pennsylvania's policies in favor of the consumer.

Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society
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Addresses a wide spectrum of issues affecting psychiatrists and persons receiving psychiatric services, as well as general medical and mental health issues. Also advocates for their profession and their patients, assures access to psychiatric services of high quality, through activities in education, shaping of legislation and upholding ethical standards.

PRO A (Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance)
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Seeks to mobilize, educate and advocate to eliminate the stigma and discrimination toward those affected by alcoholism and other drug addiction to ensure hope, health and justice for individuals, families and those in recovery.

Special Kids Network
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A free, statewide network for families with children who have special needs or disabilities.

StopHIV.com
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Provides an extensive database for testing sites, clinics and HIV resources in Pennsylvania, as well as treatment news, links to HIV/AIDS events and fundraisers, and reference material.

Women, Infants, Children (WIC) Pennsylvania
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A federally funded program that provides healthy supplemental foods and nutrition services for pregnant women, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children under age five in a supportive environment.

Women's Law Project
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Accepts a small number of high impact litigation, promotes public policty and education to achieve legislative and social change, and offers a free telephone counseling and consumer education service.

Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization, Inc. - International
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Adult Children of Alcoholics is an anonymous Twelve Step, twelve tradition programs of women and men who grew up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional home. They meet with each other in a mutually respectful safe environment and acknowledge their common experience. They discover how childhood affected them in the past and influences them in the present. They take positive action. By practicing the twelve Steps, focusing on the solution and accepting a loving higher power of our understanding, they find freedom from the past and way to improve their lives today.

Al-Anon/Alateen
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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
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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
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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
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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 Foundation for Suicide Prevention
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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a 501(c)(3) organization, has been at the forefront of a wide range of suicide prevention initiatives in 2010 -- each designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. They are investing in groundbreaking research, new educational campaigns, innovative demonstration projects and critical policy work. They are also expanding their assistance to people whose lives have been affected by suicide, reaching out to offer support and offering opportunities to become involved in prevention.

American Lung Association
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Seeks to prevent lung disease and promote lung health through education programs, smoking control and prevention, and environmental advocacy.

American Self Help Group Clearinghouse
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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
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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
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ADA statute, regulations and federally reviewed tech sheets plus links to related sites.

Arc, The
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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
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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
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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
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A nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting parents with troubled children of any age, and promotes structure, consequences and consistency in raising kids.

Carter Center Mental Health Program
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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.

Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
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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.

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
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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.

Child Welfare League of America
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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
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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
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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
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Helps low-income residents of San Diego County navigate the ever changing health care system to access care and obtain and/or maintain eligibility for government benefit health programs including but not limited to Medi-Cal, Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), Medicare Savings Programs, Medicaid Expansion/Low Income Health Plan (LIHP) and County Medical Services. This is accomplished through individual and substantive advocacy, providing trainings and developing community partnerships. As the County-designated Patients Rights Advocate for outpatient specialty mental health services, the Consumer Center is responsible for investigating and resolving complaints, grievances and appeals. Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. 1764 San Diego Avenue, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92110, 1-877-734-3258

Crystal Meth Anonymous
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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.

CSAT - Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
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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 SAMSHA’s free treatment referral service to link people with the community-based substance abuse services they need.

Drug Policy Alliance
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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
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Provides information and resources for service providers, consumers, and family members who are seeking assistance andor education in this field.

Dual Recovery Anonymous
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention
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The mission of the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention is to assist institutions of higher education in developing, implementing, and evaluating alcohol, other drug, and violence prevention policies and programs that will foster students’ academic and social development and promote campus and community safety.

Institute for Recovery and Community Integration
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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
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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
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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.

NAPAFASA National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse
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A private, non-profit, 501 (c ) (3) membership organization dedicated to addressing the alcohol, tobacco, and other drug issues of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations on the continental U.S. Hawaii, the six Pacific Island jurisdictions and elsewhere. Founding in 1988, NAPAFASA involves service providers, families and youth in efforts to reach API communities to promote health and social justice and to reduce substance abuse and related problems.

Nar-Anon Family Group
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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
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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 Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
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A membership organization of 1,700 behavioral health providers that advocates for public policies that ensure that people who are ill can access comprehensive healthcare services. They offer state-of-the-science education and practice improvement resources so that services are efficient and effective.

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
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A voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting the Nation’s #1 health problem – alcoholism and drug addiction and the devastating consequences of alcohol and other drugs on individuals, families, and communities.

National Empowerment Center
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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 Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
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Through a family and youth driven approach, children and youth with emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges and their families obtain needed supports and services so that children grow up healthy and able to maximize their potential.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
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NIAAA provides leadership in the national effort to reduce alcohol-related problems by conducting and supporting research in a wide range of scientific areas, coordinating and collaborating with other research institutes and Federal Programs on alcohol-related issues, collaborating with organizations engaged in alcohol-related work and translating and disseminating research findings to health care providers, researchers, policymakers, and the public.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
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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
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Offers separate sections designed for researchers and health professionals; teachers and parents; and students.

National Institute on Mental Health
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The largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to research focused on the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

National Latino Behavioral Health Association
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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
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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
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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.

National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
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The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) is a non-profit organization that strives to create a global community free of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and a society supportive of individuals already living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). NOFAS increases public awareness and mobilizes grassroots action in diverse communities and represents the interests of persons with FASD and their caregivers as the liaison to researchers and policymakers. By ensuring that FASD is broadly recognized as a developmental disability, NOFAS strives to reduce the stigma and improve the quality of life for affected individuals and families.

National Youth Leadership Network
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The National Youth Leadership Network promotes leadership development, education, employment, independent living, and health and wellness among young leaders representing the diversity of race, ethnicity and disability in the United States. They also foster the inclusion of young leaders with disabilities into all aspects of society at national, state and local levels and communicate about issues important to youth with disabilities and the policies and practices that affect their lives.

Nicotine Anonymous
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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
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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.

Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support (OASIS), The
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Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome to create a single resource for families, individuals, and medical professionals who deal with the challenges of Asperger Syndrome, Autism, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder/ Not Otherwise Specified (PDD/NOS).

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
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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
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Provides comprehensive smoking cessation resources, counseling, and community support for people trying to give up smoking.

Regional Resource and Federal Centers (RRFC) Network
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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
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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.

SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training) Recovery
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SMART Recover is the leading Self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Our participants learn tools for recover support group. Out participants learn tools for recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering science based mutual help groups.

Smokefree.gov
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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.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
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Offers legislative information, mental health services, addiction treatment, prevention, statistics and data, workplace resources and policy issues.

TASH
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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
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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.

U.S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA)
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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.

 
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