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Mental Health America
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History of the Mental Health Bell

During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained persons with mental illness by iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped.

In the early 1950's, the National Mental Health Association issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles. On April 13, 1956, at the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, MD, the National Mental Health Association melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: the Mental Health Bell.

Now the symbol of Mental Health America and its affiliates, the 300-pound Bell serves as a powerful reminder that the chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses. Today the Mental Health Bell rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illness.

Mental Health Bell

Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness. -Inscription on Mental Health Bell


Contact Us

Bob Dembek
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176
E-mail: mhajc@cabjackson.org