Our mission is to promote mental health through education, advocacy, understanding, and access to quality care for all individuals.
Our vision is to be a leader in creating a just, humane, and healthy society in which all people are accorded respect, dignity, and the opportunity to achieve their full potential free from prejudice and stigma.
Mental Health America of North Dakota (MHAND) is a consumer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since 1952, the residents of our state have had a safe, trusted and confidential place to turn when seeking help for behavioral health (mental health and substance use) issues. MHAND promotes mental wellness for the health and well-being of all North Dakotans – every day and in times of crisis.
Throughout it's rich history, MHAND has consistently fought for the needs of children, adults and families through the programs and activities such as education, support groups, supportive action/advocacy and many more.
MHAND's goals are consistent with those outlined in 1952 by the pioneers of the initial formation of the organization. The goals are to craft and support public policies that promote mental health and consumer empowerment, reduce stigma, and improve public understanding, attitudes and actions regarding behavioral health. We accomplish that through working to ensure the development of a broad-based national behavioral health agenda that supports strong community based services; and provides a high quality, culturally competent services and support to all North Dakotans.
Perhaps Myrt Armstrong, former Executive Director, best described the work of MHAND when, in 1988, she wrote: "In this kind of work we are constantly risking it all, constantly setting out in uncharted waters. Even in brief moments of victory, we know we cannot rest because the pain of those for whom we struggle, our fuel and our focus, is always there with us."
Two challenges remain constant: 1) the fight against the stigma of mental illness and substance use; and 2) the struggle for sustainable funding as a non-profit organization.
Structure and Function
MHAND is an affiliate of the more-than-a-century-old Mental Health America organization, located in the Washington, DC area.
MHAND has a consumer-run board of directors that directs the activities and programs of the organization. The board meets quarterly with an Annual Meeting in October.
The Governance Committee meets on an as needed basis. Other committees are Nominating, Public Policy and Bylaws. The Public Policy Committee has participants that are outside of the board membership and includes elected officials and consumers.
MHAND has one office in North Dakota located in Bismarck. The total staff number is fourteen and includes the MHAND office in Bismarck, the Mountainbrooke Recovery Center in Grand Forks, and the Myrt Armstrong Recovery Center in Fargo. Carlotta McCleary is the Executive Director.