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
and Behavioural Disorders. We are now establishing further international
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
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
- 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
- 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
Free download of journal issue
The Clifford Beers Foundation, in collaboration
with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, launched a new academic journal relevant to all those with an interest
in school mental health promotion in October 2007. Advances in
School Mental Health Promotion is published four times
a year, in January, April, July and October.
The Inaugural Issue, published in October 2007, is now available as a free
download in pdf format. For more information and to download the inaugural
issue, visit the Advances
in School Mental Health Promotion web site.
Beers Foundation - Registered Address: Mariazell, 5 Castle Way, Stafford,
UK, ST16 1BS
Charity Registration No: 1057476, Company No: 3231433
1 December, 2010 1:53 PM