To promote and advance community based housing, education, health care, employment and treatment for children, adolescents and adults with mental illnesses or emotional disorders. To increase knowledge about mental illnesses and the effectiveness of treatment through educational outreach to the public at large or to specific segments, and to promote healthy life styles and behavior through preventative services and programs directed at children and adolescents.
The Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, Inc. (MAMH) was established in 1913 under the name Massachusetts Society for Mental Hygiene in Boston Massachusetts. It was part of a national and international mental hygiene movement started 1905 by Clifford Whittingham Beers, a Yale graduate and former mental patient. Beers' first hand experience of the poor conditions in mental hospitals, motivated him to improve conditions for the mentally ill, as well as to educate the public on the prevention and treatment of mental disease. Beers wanted his movement to reach beyond the hospital walls and into the community and his hope was that every state would establish a Society for Mental Hygiene.
The founders and original directors in Massachusetts were personally recruited by Beers and included the medical and lay leaders of the period, including Charles Elliot, President of Harvard University, Edward A. Filene and Henry Stedman, M.D.
It's original mission (or statement of aims and purposes) included:
- To work for the conservation of mental health;
- To help raise the standard of care for those suffering from or in danger of developing mental disorders; and
- To familiarize the public with the methods adopted for the care and treatment of such patients (including those in institutions and those "boarded out").