Mental Health America (the singer formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) turned 100 this year, and we’d like to wish them a Happy Birthday. They trace their roots back to 1909 and Clifford W. Beers:

We began our work in 1909 when Clifford W. Beers, a young businessman who struggled with a mental illness and shared his story with the world in his autobiography “A Mind That Found Itself,” created a national citizens’ group to promote mental health and improve conditions for children and adults living with these health problems. It was a revolutionary act and attracted prominent national leaders of the time, including the philosopher William James and the Rockefeller family.

The modern NMHA organization wasn’t formed until 1950, and in that time has helped its 320 nationwide affiliates promote mental health education and support for millions of Americans in need.

Yesterday, in connection with their annual meeting and dinner party, they also announced the winners of the “2009 Media Awards” that recognize excellence in mental health journalism. Sadly, despite the Internet’s popularity for the past 15 years, the Internet as a category is still missing from the awards. Apparently you can do good journalism online, you just won’t be acknowledged for it. (That’s okay, we have a companion entry that’ll be published shortly making up this unfortunate oversight.)

Mental Health America remains one of the outstanding non-profit organizations in the country that works through its affiliates to reduce the stigma and increase objective information about mental health concerns. We commend and congratulate them on a century’s worth of work and look forward to seeing it continue for the next century.

Read the full list of 2009 Media Award winners here: 2009 Media Awards Recognize Excellence in Mental Health Journalism