Almost all nonprofit organizations that offer support to people with depression and anxiety work to increase awareness about the prevalence of the diseases and reduce the stigma normally attached to them. By sharing information about the causes and treatment options for the illnesses, they aim to teach the public about the symptoms of the illnesses to permit early detection and encourage individuals experiencing the symptoms to seek help.
How These Organizations Help
Nonprofit groups focused on depression and anxiety usually offer therapist or physician referrals through searchable directories on their websites or toll-free phone numbers operated by trained counselors. These services are available to individuals suffering from either illness, family members and friends helping a loved one find treatment. Most groups also offer lists of local support groups. Although these groups typically do not provide therapeutic treatment, some may offer emergency telephone counseling. This counseling is usually intended to prevent the caller from hurting themselves or others.
Another commonly offered service is giving information about the different types of therapy methods and medications used to treat anxiety or depression. The group may have an affiliation with a therapist or pharmacist to answer questions and explain the treatment process. Some groups offer diagnostic tools, which assist an individual in determining if they may suffer from other illness. However, these tools are not intended to actually diagnose the individual, but rather encourage the user to seek professional help.
Many groups raise funds for researching the disease, paying for seminars to teach about the illnesses or even for helping with the cost of treatment. They typically host events to raise funds, but also accept online donations.
Examples of Nonprofits That Assist People with Depression and Anxiety
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP): This group works to prevent individuals suffering from depression from hurting themselves. Its website lists local chapters and support groups for suicidal individuals and those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
- Freedom From Fear: This organization's website contains self-screening tests for anxiety and depression and provides free professional counseling to individuals who take the test. Its website also lists support groups in each state and allows users to search for physicians in their area.
- Postpartum Support International: This group helps mothers suffering from postpartum depression locate medical professionals in their area for treatment. It also offers counseling to family members.
- MoodGYM: This website teaches cognitive behavioral therapy skills to individuals suffering from anxiety and depression.
- E-Couch: This website contains diagnostic modules that allow users to determine if they should seek medical help. It also explains and teaches cognitive and behavioral therapy techniques and relaxation methods.
- Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA): This organization focuses on educating medical professionals, individuals suffering from anxiety or depression and their family members about the symptoms and treatment options for the illnesses. Its website explains the different manifestations of the illnesses in children, adults and the elderly, describes the most commonly used therapeutic techniques and allows users to find a local therapist.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): This group aims to increase awareness about mental illnesses and improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from them. It defines and describes depression and anxiety and discusses the types and components of medications used to treat different illnesses on its website.
- Beacon Tree Foundation: This group gives parents of children with mental illnesses funding to pay for therapy, special schooling or prescription drugs.
Finding Your Organization
Organizations that support individuals experiencing depression or anxiety provide many different types of assistance. When choosing a charity to donate to, consider the age group and illness that are the organization's primary focus. Also investigate each charity's legal status and ranking on Charity Navigator prior to donating.