National Alliance on Mental Illness
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(800) 950-NAMI;

Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma

The Resource Center to Address Discrimination and Stigma Associated with Mental Illness (ADS Center) provides practical assistance to individuals, States, and public and private organizations in the design, implementation, and operation of programs and initiatives to reduce discrimination and stigma.

The Need:

"Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General" identified stigma as one of the major barriers that discourage adults with mental illnesses, and the families of children and adolescents with serious emotional disorders, from seeking treatment.  Among the consequences of discrimination and stigma for adults who have mental illnesses are lowered self-esteem; disrupted family relationships; and increased difficulty in building connections in the community, securing housing, and obtaining employment.  Children who experience discrimination and stigma may be scarred for life.

Our Goal:

The goal of the ADS Center is to enhance mental health consumer independence and community participation by ensuring that people have all the information they need to develop successful efforts to counteract discrimination and stigma.

We Can Help You By:

  • Providing useful resources and information about effective approaches for people or organizations interested in counteracting discrimination and stigma;
  • Making you aware of research on discrimination and stigma - including research regarding the public's attitudes about, and behaviors towards, people with mental illnesses - that have been published or that is underway;
  • Offering information about available publications, events, and issues of relevance regarding discrimination and stigma;
  • Connecting you with guest speakers who can make presentations on discrimination and stigma in your state;
  • Providing a comprehensive bibliography of literature addressing discrimination and stigma;
  • Offering technical assistance and trainings to help you create your own anti-discrimination/anti-stigma initiatives, or information to help you connect with effective campaigns and programs that already exist in your area.

Elimination of Barriers Initiative Collaboration:

The ADS Center will act as a key resource and tool for the companion Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) program, the Elimination of Barriers Initiative (EBI).  The EBI works with States and other stakeholders to reduce the discrimination and stigma associated with mental illnesses.  Over a three-year period, the EBI will develop and test models and public education materials - including radio, television, and print public service announcements (PSAs) - in eight pilot States around the country.  Upon completion of the evaluation, CMHS will distribute the resulting evidence-based public education practices and materials to States and communities across the nation.

To Contact the ADS Center:

  • By Phone:

The ADS Center's toll-free number is 1-800-540-0320.  They are open Monday-Friday (9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern Time) with bilingual (English/Spanish) staff.

  • By Mail:

ADS Center
11420 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD  20852

  • By E-mail:

  • On the web: