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Finding Organizations That Can Help

Finding organizations and resources that provide support to families of children with mental health and emotional or behavioral disorders can be overwhelming. Organizations may be primarily focused on advocacy, research, assistance and support services, specific disabilities, and others may be quite general. In the lists that follow, you’ll discover that many sites are sponsored by government, health agencies including hospitals and treatment center, universities, disability specific communities, and grassroots organizations.

National Resources

  • Autism Speaks

    Research and Autism – autism science and advocacy organization, supports research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism

  • Beach Center on Disability

    Research - The Beach Center on Disability is a multidisciplinary research and training center committed to making a significant and sustainable positive difference in the quality of life of individuals and families affected by disability and the professionals who support them.

  • Behavior Doctor

    Training – Training, workshops, tips and materials for parents and professionals for increasing success with children’s behavioral challenges and in school programs addressing those behaviors to be used in the home and school. The materials cover an array of mental health challenges.

  • The Behavior Home Page

    Resource - Focused on providing links to resources for parents and professionals concerning children and youth with behavior challenges. This site, sponsored by the state of Kentucky, covers social skills training, response to intervention (RTI), bullying, and seclusion and restraint.

  • Beyond Consequences Institute

    Resource - Focus on parenting or teaching children who experienced trauma, adopted from another country or from the US. The Institute was created by a therapist to educate and provide the resources for helping children with severe acting out behavior.

  • Brazelon Center for Mental Health Law

    Self Determination – A political action group working to protect the autonomy of individuals with mental health challenges, including their right to vote, participate in community life, and make choices about the care they receive.

  • Center for Child and Human Development

    Mental Health in Early Childhood - National Center hosted at Georgetown University, focused on Trauma Informed Care and Early Interventions for children with mental health challenges.. Posts current summaries of effective strategy research.

  • Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice

    Research to Practice - There is a significant gap between what we know from research and development about how to better serve children and youth with emotional and behavioral problems and the actual practice of serving them. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs has funded a center to work with other federal agencies to surmount the barriers to collaboration and knowledge use in the multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder, multi-ethnic context in which children with emotional and behavioral problems live and are served.

  • The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

    Research - Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, one of the world's leading research centers in addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues

  • Children and Adults with ADD/ADHD (CHADD)

    ADD/ADHD - Advocacy organization that provides education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD and includes current research advances, medications and treatments.

  • Children of Parents with a Mental Illness

    Advocacy and Information – COPMI promotes better outcomes for children and families where a parent experiences mental illness.

  • The Children’s Defense Fund

    Advocacy - Political advocacy and support to ensure a level playing field for all children. They focus on impacting policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation.

  • Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA)

    Technical Assistance – ECTA is an OSEP funded comprehensive technical assistance center for t young children with disabilities. It includes reviews of early childhood interventions, research, information on early childhood programs (619 and early Childhood special education), data, outcomes, and more.


    LGBTQ Resource - Championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990 to create safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression with research, action, and support


    Information - A community of people providing mental health information, support, and the opportunity to share experiences helpful to others.


    Helpline - This foundation supports schools, students, families & communities with mental health concerns. It includes a helpline “Get Help Now” – access by texting START to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-8255

  • Like Walking Through a Hailstorm

    LGBTQ Resource – Information about the history of discrimination of LGBTQ youth and personal stories


    LGBTQ Advocacy - A nonprofit organization - inspiring and empowering LGBT youth by connecting them with successful LGBTQ professionals in their community. Suggestions for school and community programs

  • Mental Health in Schools

    Resource for Professionals – A UCLA website geared toward teaching techniques, philosophies, research, and reform in the field of children’s mental health in schools.

  • Mental Health America

    Advocacy – Provides current mental health news, brochures, fact sheets at no cost and other publications for purchase on various mental health topics.

  • National Alliance on Children’s Mental Illness

    Advocacy - NAMI is a grass roots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness

  • National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC)

    Training on Diversity - Provides training, assistance, and resources to help health and mental health programs ensure their delivery systems are culturally and linguistically competent. One of their projects is specifically focused on children and youth with special health care needs.

  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network

    LGBTQ Resource – Information and links on resilience and childhood stress for parents and professionals and those who are LGBQT

  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network

    Advocacy Network – Advocacy network for parents, families, and caregivers who interact with individuals who have experienced trauma and its effects as they work with systems of care.

  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network – Parents and Caregivers

    LGBTQ Resource - Information and links to resources for LGBQT

  • NEDA

    Eating Disorders – The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care, national helpline at (800) 931-2237

  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIH)

    Information - Provides current research on a wide array of mental health disorders. Also available are definitions, causes, and types of treatment and where to go for help

  • National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

    Parent Leadership - Works to develop and implement policies, legislation, funding mechanisms, and service systems that utilize the strengths of families. Its emphasis on advocacy offers families a voice in the formation of national policy, services and supports for children with mental health needs and their families.

  • National Resource Center on ADHD

    ADHD - Current information on ADHD from a variety of resources; searchable data base, and FAQ.

  • National Crisis Suicide Prevention hotline

    Prevention – Person-centered care for suicide prevention. Will connect you with a trained counselor in your area.

  • NCWD/Youth

    Technical Assistance – A comprehensive technical assistance center for youth with disabilities. The site covers topics affecting them in employment, disability in the workplace, education, and workforce development. Posts up-to-date research and policy news.


    Interventions - PBIS (positive interventions and supports) organization’s comprehensive and easy to use website, lists successful interventions for specific behavioral challenges and provides a data tracking tool

  • PACER Center - Children’s Mental Health or Emotional or Behavioral Disorders Project

    Resource – This PACER Center sponsored website focuses on the families of children with mental health, emotional and behavioral disorders to help navigate multiple systems necessary to access supports and services. Individual assistance, trainings for parents and professionals and ways to promote change are featured on the innovative site.

  • Parent Training and Information Centers

    Parent Training - Families with a child who has a disability often need information about the disability of their child, about early intervention (for babies and toddlers), school services (for school-aged children), therapy, local policies, transportation, and much more. Every State has at least one Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) to offer families just this kind of information. Many States also have a Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC), which offers the same type of support and training to parents of children with disabilities.

  • Pathways 2 Positive Futures

    Research - promotes research on serious mental illness, currently has six active projects

  • Portland Research and Training Center

    Research - Provides updates on research, publications and other activities as well as information about developments in the field of children’s mental health.

  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support

    Technical Assistance - OSEP sponsored center about positive behavioral intervention strategies (PBIS) programs in school, families, and the community. It includes a comprehensive look at research, current issues and related subjects such as school discipline and juvenile justice.

  • RTC for Pathways to Positive Futures

    Research - This project aims to improve the lives of youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions through rigorous research and effective training and dissemination. Our work is guided by the perspectives of young people and their families, and based in a positive development framework.

  • SAMHSA: A Pocket Guide to Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) on the Web

    Professional Development (Professional and Parent) - Features a downloadable toolkit on how to use, evaluate, and train staff on using evidence based practices in for children with mental health challenges and links to other toolkits of interest.

  • SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center

    Technical Assistance - Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health (ADS Center) This site sponsored by the Department of Health focuses specifically on mental health challenges in training teleconferences, publications, information updates, tips on taking action, campaign for social inclusion and mental health facts.

  • Specialized Training of Military Parents (STOMP)

    Military Families - STOMP PROJECT, PAVE is a parent organization for military families and can provide military families with information about their rights and responsibilities for achieving appropriate educational services for their children wherever they may be located in the U.S. or overseas.

  • Starting the Conversation College and Your Mental Health

    Resource - A guide to having a successful college experience – includes symptoms, prevention and how to seek help for mental health concerns produced by NAMI and JED

  • State Advisory Council - Children’s Subcommittee on Mental Health

    Political Action - Recommends policies, laws, regulations, and services relating to children’s mental health. There are four work groups: Schools and Mental Health; Outreach to Culturally Diverse Families; and Juvenile Justice and Children’s Mental Health.

  • Stop Hurting Kids

    Seclusion and Restraint - Dan Habib film on restraint and seclusion includes advocacy, information and personal stories

  • Suicide and Depression Awareness for Students

    Assistance – focused on individuals and families struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, and includes: resources, symptoms, and help lines contact information

  • Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Interventions for Young Children

    Professional Development - The goal of the State/TACSEI Partnership is to plan, implement and sustain a professional development system to enhance the knowledge and skills of the early childhood work force in meeting the social emotional needs of young children, particularly those with or at risk for delays or disabilities in inclusive and natural environments.

  • Teen Health and Wellness

    Prevention - Provides middle school and high school students with nonjudgmental, straightforward self-help support. Topics include diseases, drugs, alcohol, nutrition, mental health, suicide, bullying, green living, financial literacy, digital literacy, and more.

  • Tourette’s Association

    Advocacy and Research – a nonprofit advocacy organization for individuals and families affected by Tourette and other tic disorders and includes: relevant science, treatment options     and a search function to find helping professionals by state

  • The Trevor Project

    Resource - Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.

  • U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)

    Military Families - An important source of information to military families who are moving in a discussion of “Relocating: Things to Remember”

  • Youth Move

    Resource - Devoted to improving services and systems that support positive growth and development by uniting the voices of individuals who have lived experience in various systems including mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare.

Minnesota Resources

  • Ambit Network

    Trauma – Minnesota based community-university partnership based network that helps communities use research-based prevention and intervention techniques to increase children’s ability deal with trauma.

  • Autism Society of MN

    Advocacy – nonprofit organization committed to education, advocacy and support for those families and individuals affected by autism

  • Disability Minnesota

    Resource – Links the consumer to state agency resources (education, health and other agencies) for children with disabilities who need special education.

  • Family Services Collaboratives

    Directory - Minnesota children’s mental health collaborative contact information by county

  • Fast Tracker: Your Link to Mental Health Resources

    Service Providers - Fast-Tracker is a virtual community and health care connection resource. We connect mental health providers, care coordinators, and consumers with a real-time, searchable directory of mental health resources and their availability within Minnesota

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention

    Information – Minnesota Department of Health page featuring a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Fact Sheet


    Advocacy - Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health promotes positive mental health for all infants, children, adolescents, and their families

  • Mental Health Association of Minnesota

    Support Services - advocacy organization for increasing services and positive outcomes for those with mental health challenges

  • Minnesota Association of Mental Illness

    Advocacy – mental health advocacy organization with resources for specific diagnoses

  • MN Children with Special Health Needs

    Family Support – Minnesota Department of Health website for Family-to-Family support groups. Family health history and resources, financial and other services and more.

  • Minnesota Department of Education

    IEP Goals - Find information on how to develop goals and related services to meet mental health needs on the IEP

  • Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Children’s Mental Health Division

    Information - Mental health matters at every stage of life and requires an integrated continuum of services ranging from prevention to recovery. These efforts will result in better outcomes and reduce health care disparities among children.

  • MN Disability Law Center

    Legal Advocacy – Provides representation for persons with disabilities who live in Minnesota through direct legal representation, advocacy, education, and legislative analysis. MDLC pursues administrative and other appropriate remedies to ensure the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.

  • Minnesota State Advisory Council - Children’s Subcommittee on Mental Health

    Political Action - Recommends policies, laws, regulations, and services relating to children’s mental health. There are four work groups: Schools and Mental Health; Outreach to Culturally Diverse Families; and Juvenile Justice and Children’s Mental Health.

  • Minnesota Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS)

    Resource - Offers diagnosis, information and support for families and their children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and information for the professionals working with them.

  • Positive Supports Minnesota

    Resource - Offers ideas about positive supports for behavior and transition that are respectful, supportive and effective for parents, service providers and consumers and serves as the home of the Positive Support Manual, a resource manual which provides guidelines for DHS-licensed settings

  • Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)

    Prevention - SAVE was one of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide and this site includes facts, warnings and FAQs about suicide prevention

  • A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students

    LGBTQ Resource – a new technical assistance handbook on how to ensure safe, supportive and inclusive environments for all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students.


    Suicide Prevention – This is a suicide hotline in Minnesota is a direct link to counselors. Because of the way daily communication has changed, many youth today feel more comfortable talking through text messages instead of over the phone or face-to-face. It also includes information for parents, teachers and the community.

  • University of Minnesota Children, Youth and Family Consortium

    Research – creates programs to bridge gaps between research and practice and policy.

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