For more than sixty years, the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee has been the leading voice in advancing the construction of our public and private mental health system.

These mental health systems must be responsive to the needs of our community; 26.2% of our population needs mental health care in any given year, while 51% will need treatment within their lifetime. A dependable service delivery system must advance to readily provide specialized services when needed.

Sixty years ago, mental health focused almost solely on warehousing patients at Eastern State Hospital (now called Lakeshore Mental Health Institute). Today, care can be accessed in an array of hospital and residential settings, in outpatient treatment at community mental health centers, in private settings with a physician or counselor, or in support programs led by peers.

The creation of new programs and services can be attributed to our persistent advocacy efforts to improve mental health services. Some of these include:

  • Started the Patient Advocacy Program at LMHI
  • Established Friendship House
  • Expanded jail based mental health services
  • Reformed the TennCare Drug Formulary to include standard of care medications
  • Created a Law Enforcement Training Program
  • Started the Post Partum Depression Task Force
  • Secured funding for six (6) Crisis Stabilization Units across Tennessee
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