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Working to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders through dissemination of knowledge, training partnerships and consultation.


Welcome to The Clifford Beers World Wide Web site. I hope that your visit here will enable you to learn more about our work and that of colleagues working in the field of mental health promotion and the prevention of mental disorders.

Established in 1996 as the original UK charity devoted to the promotion of mental health, we have been able to develop a range of initiatives and collaborative ventures with colleagues throughout the world. It is very rewarding to see how our work has encouraged others to follow and join our endeavours: for example, the International Journal of Mental Health Promotion was the first such publication in this field and the Annual European Conferences have developed to become the World Conferences on the Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders. We are now establishing further international links.

Our sole aim is to improve the mental health of people. Consequently success depends on forging effective links with other like-minded people and organisations.

To this end may I invite you to make contact if we can be of help and of course we welcome your comments, suggestions and advice.

Michael Murray, Chief Executive

Why Clifford Beers?

This name was chosen in recognition of the life and work of Clifford Whittingham Beers (1876-1943), the American humanitarian who devoted much of his life to the study and advancement of the mental hygiene movement.

Clifford Beers was born in New Haven, Connecticut and educated at Yale University. In 1900, after suffering a mental breakdown he was confined to an asylum for three years. After his recovery he wrote the harrowing, classic autobiography, `A Mind that Found Itself' (1908), a book that aroused a storm of protest and public concern about care of people with mental illness. In the eyes of many the modern mental movement can be traced to this publication.

In 1908 Beers founded the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene, in 1909 the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (in 1950 it was recognised as the National Association for Mental Health in the USA) and in 1931 the International Foundation for Mental Health Hygiene. Not content with enhancing the mental health movement in North America, Clifford Beers was instrumental in developments in a number of the European countries, expending both this own time and finance in assisting national mental health organisations to become firmly established.

In a period of history when communications were extremely restricted the efforts and perhaps more importantly the success of Clifford Beers are difficult to fully appreciate; we can perhaps just try to build upon the foundations he established.

This is a collaborative venture between a group of practitioners (for want of a more suitable term) working worldwide who have come together to promote a number of key objectives. These include:

  • The establishment of an international network of universities/research centres;
  • The commissioning of a 'clearing house' to collate, evaluate and disseminate research;
  • The promotion of conferences to share ideas, findings from research and to stimulate further work in the field. Following the inaugural World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (Atlanta, 2000), further World Conferences have taken place in London (2002) and Auckland (2004) and the World Conference in 2006 will be in Oslo.
  • The establishment of a consultancy service to enable those working in the field to secure assistance and advice.

The Clifford Beers Foundation is seeking to promote further initiatives including:

  • The development of a resource base to complement the clearing house, including a comprehensive database.
  • The establishment of training partnerships so that a mental health promotion group could, for example, collate existing resources to design programmes, harness mental health and training skills and develop and pilot specific iniatives.
  • Help with the development of national initiatives, including liaison with the media or work with national initiatives.
  • The establishment of an 'expert group' to assist in the development of outcome measures and evaluation methods tailored for specific programmes.

In summary, the Clifford Beers Foundation is working to be a focus for the development of mental health promotion initiatives, based on the principle that acting as a catalyst for others it can become a much needed focal point. The aim is to work alongside existing agencies rather than duplicate their efforts.

The Clifford Beers Foundation - Registered Address: Mariazell, 5 Castle Way, Stafford, UK, ST16 1BS
Charity Registration No: 1057476, Company No: 3231433

Last updated: 27 March, 2015 11:31 AM