Our History

Serving Arizona since 1954, Mental Health America of Arizona (MHA AZ) is the state’s oldest organization dedicated to all aspects of mental health, mental illness and behavioral health disorders.  MHA AZ is an affiliate of the nation’s leading community-based non-profit, Mental Health America, dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. During MHA AZ’s 64-year history, the agency has provided leadership addressing the full range of mental health issues. Check out some of our highlights below!

1965 - MHA AZ raised the money to allow Camelback Hospital to open the first adult outpatient clinic in Arizona, serving patients for over 30 years. Later the Scottsdale building would be donated back to MHA AZ and would serve as the state headquarters for over a decade.

Early 1980s - MHA AZ offered a variety of programs to assist the public with questions and concerns about mental illness. These programs included: Information and Referral, Peer Support Groups, OPTIONS (Offering Parents & Teens Information on Needless Suicide), Compeer, OK Socialites, Night Talks and the Annual Walk for Conscience. 

Late 1980’s - MHA AZ founded the MIKID (Mentally Ill Kids in Distress) program.

1992 - With the help of Tribune Newspapers, MHA initiated and sponsored the annual Seeds of Crisis Symposium that brought together the media, elected officials, business leaders, providers, and family and peer representatives to address unmet mental health concerns in Arizona.  hrough unified advocacy efforts led by MHA, the state celebrated many successes in improving the quality and funding for essential services.

2000’s – MHA AZ remained strong and continued those programs started in the 80’s along with the annual Seeds Conference.

2012 – MHA AZ started hosting the Mental Health Association of Associations, a statewide gathering of groups seeking to build consensus of common advocacy issues.

2014 – MHA AZ strengthened its advocacy work and presence among policy makers.

2017 – After facing numerous changes in leadership, MHA AZ hired a new Executive Director. MHA AZ has since evaluated its purpose, values and focus areas. During this year, MHA AZ grew tremendously with a great presence in the community, a stronger financial back bone and a larger community following. View our highlights from 2017. You can also view our annual report here.
2018 – MHA AZ hired a new Associate Director and has expanded their reach. This year, MHA AZ has identified two focus areas: suicide prevention and workplace wellness. 

MHA will continue its efforts to promote prevention, treatment, and recovery for people with all types of mental illness.  We urge you to join us in educating and strengthening the statewide advocacy efforts on behalf of Arizona citizens.  Join us by getting on our mailing list, attending meetings and spreading the word about MHA revival.