Welcome to MHACG
Your bridge to wellbeing
Building a bridge between Mental & Physical health.
Mental Health is HEALTH
Welcome to the Mental Health Association of Columbia Greene Counties! Our purpose is to build a bridge between mental health and total wellbeing - so that mental health is considered just as important as physical health.
We go beyond mental illness and health and support those in recovery from substance abuse, survivors of assault and violence, children of neglect and abuse, homeless, and even after school and family support services.
Mental health is health, and we're here to help in your total wellbeing.
We've come a long way over the years
The creation of our organization
In 1958, a group of volunteers decided to come together and support the Hudson River Psychiatric Center. Together, they formed The Columbia County Society for Mental Health.
1981 brought with it the formation of our longest running direct care services, now named PROS for Personalized Recovery Oriented Services.
Renamed for the changes in Mental Health
As mental health care began to change in the 90's, so did our name. In 1991 we changed to the Mental Health Association of Columbia County to align with affiliate organization MHA's across the nation. In 1995 we added Greene County to serve both sides of the river.
In 1997 we merged with Assistance in Meaningful Living (AIM), a non-profit mental health provider for residential services.
Expanding to care for survivors of assault & abuse
If you're a survivor of sexual assault, domestic violence or abuse, it has a huge impact on your mental health. In 2010 we added the REACH Center to provide support for survivors. In 2014 we also added the Child Advocacy Center, specializing in cases of children of neglect, abuse, or molestation.
Throughout the 2010's we continued to expand services to help the community in different ways that can impact wellness. We added crisis support with MCAT, Youth Clubhouses for youth peer support from substance abuse, peer support centers such as Apogee Center and Water Street Studio, and Children & Families support with After School programs, mentoring, Americorps, and respite.
We believe mental health is as important as physical wellbeing
We're on a mission to advance mental health as a critical part of the overall health and wellbeing of our communities.
We strive for better health & wellbeing for our communities with improved access and awareness of mental health supportive care
The history behind the bell of hope
Mental Health Bell
During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained persons with mental illnesses by iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped.
In the early 1950s, the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles. On April 13, 1953 at the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, MD, NMHA melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope – the Mental Health Bell.
Now the symbol of NMHA, the 300-pound Bell serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses. Today, the Mental Health Bell rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.
Over the years, national mental health leaders and other prominent individuals have rung the Bell to mark the continued progress in the fight for victory over mental illnesses.
The NMHA envisions a just, humane and healthy society in which all people are accorded respect, dignity and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from stigma and prejudice.