Mental health is more important than ever. You want the dollars you donate to make a difference. How can you know which mental health charities to donate to? The following  organizations received high ratings for their extremely high levels of accountability and transparency for donors, how well they have sustained their programs, and the high percentage of their revenue spent on programs and services rather than administrative or fundraising costs.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards scientific grants to those working to make discoveries in understanding the causes and improving the treatments of  a multitude of mental disorders. By donating to this foundation, you are supporting scientists who make critical discoveries in areas such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, autism, and bipolar, attention-deficit hyperactivity, post-traumatic stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. They’ve awarded close to $310 million to more than 3,700 scientists in the past 25 years.

American Psychiatric Association Foundation

According to Charity Navigator, the APA Foundation’s mission is to create national awareness, personalized treatment and compassion.  This wonderful foundation uses medical science as well as education to achieve their mission. Their website states “we raise awareness and overcome barriers,  invest in the future leaders of psychiatry, support research and training to improve mental health care and lead partnerships to address public challenges in mental health.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 900 local communities across the country. According to their mission statement, NAMI recognizes that the key concepts of recovery, resiliency and support are essential to improving the wellness and quality of life of all persons affected by mental illness. NAMI members and friends work to fulfill our mission by providing support, education, and advocacy. Their activities include public education and information activities, peer education and support, raising awareness and fighting stigma, and state and federal advocacy.

Read part two of these series for even more information on mental health charities.