9 Best Charities That Fight Anxiety (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight Anxiety (Complete 2022 List)

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Alycia O'Dell

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Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 19.1% of adults and 31.9% of adolescents every year. These disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those affected receive the help they need due to stigma, lack of awareness, and lack of access to vital resources. Organizations around the world are working to remove barriers to anxiety treatment. So, we had to ask: what are the best charities that fight anxiety?

The best charities that fight anxiety are the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Charities such as Mental Health America and Active Minds work to increase awareness of the symptoms of anxiety and encourage proactive treatment.

Whether you want to raise awareness of anxiety and mental illness on school campuses, fund cutting-edge research to better understand anxiety, or help a military family manage their mental health together, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight anxiety are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight Anxiety Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. The majority operate primarily throughout the US and Canada, but some fight anxiety internationally.

Many of these charities address anxiety across all ages and populations. Others focus on specific populations such as women, young adults, and military families. Some offer direct support by providing individual and group therapy, while others fund research to better understand the underlying causes of anxiety and improve treatment. Yet, they all share a common goal; to fight anxiety and improve outcomes for sufferers.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight Anxiety

Below are our favorite charities that fight anxiety:

  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • Mental Health America
  • Active Minds
  • Child Mind Institute
  • Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
  • SeekHer Foundation
  • Postpartum Support International
  • Project Sanctuary

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Increasing Awareness, Improving Outcomes

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America was founded in 1979 by a group of mental health professionals to raise awareness of mental health disorders and destigmatize them. Today, they are an international organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of mental health disorders, including anxiety.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has a 100% Encompass score for finance & accountability from Charity Navigator. The charity also holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Triumphing through science, treatment, and education.”

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

What they do: The Anxiety and Depression Association of America helps people overcome mental health disorders, including anxiety, through educational resources, professional practice, and research. For example, their educational resources help people better understand the causes, symptoms, and available treatments for anxiety and other mental health disorders. Furthermore, they advance mental health treatment by supporting research to develop better treatments and potential cures. They also facilitate collaboration between mental health professionals through continuing education opportunities and annual conferences. Moreover, their free Peer-to-Peer Support Communities allow affected individuals to connect and share their experiences.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America has impacted the lives of millions of people living with mental health disorders, including anxiety. For example, in 2021, their Peer-to-Peer Support Communities connected more than 65,000 people from around the world. In addition, over 45,000 people subscribed to their educational monthly newsletter, and their provider directory now includes more than 1,000 licensed mental health professionals.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly via the Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. You can also contribute by shopping in one of the online stores. In addition, you are encouraged to share your own story of triumphing over anxiety. 

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Destigmatizing Mental Health

The National Alliance on Mental Illness was founded in 1979 by a small group of families to provide solidarity and support to people suffering from mental illness, including anxiety. Today, the organization works to raise awareness and provide support to those in need in communities across the US.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the National Alliance on Mental Illness a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

“Changing the mental health conversation, together.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness

What they do: The National Alliance on Mental Illness improves the lives of those with anxiety and other mental health disorders and their families through advocacy, education, support, and public awareness. For example, their education program features classes for people with mental illness as well as stakeholders such as family members, significant others, and providers. They also provide peer support to those seeking guidance and resources via their 24-hour HelpLine. In addition, they provide comprehensive information about anxiety treatment options on their website. 

What they’ve achieved: The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a grassroots mental health organization that helps those affected through a network of over 600 affiliates and 49 state organizations across the US. For example, in 2021, they distributed $3.5 million in grants to advance the work of their network. In the same year, their annual fundraiser, NAMIWalks Your Way, raised $13.1 million across 122 events with over 40,000 participants nationwide. In addition, the charity’s advocacy efforts were integral to the launch of the 988 crisis number which is a helpline for those suffering from anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the National Alliance on Mental Illness via their website. You can also contribute by registering to participate in NamiWalks Your Way, or by volunteering to work on their NAMI HelpLine.

Mental Health America: Action Before Crisis

Mental Health America was founded in 1909 by Clifford W. Beers. After experiencing years of abuse in mental institutions, Beers became committed to reforming mental health care. Today, Mental Health America is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of the mentally ill and promoting mental health for all, including those with anxiety.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Mental Health America a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Crisis is not a starting point.”

Mental Health America

What they do: Mental Health America promotes mental health and the prevention of mental illnesses, including anxiety, through advocacy, education, research, and integrative services. Their efforts are guided by their “B4Stage4” philosophy, which posits that mental health conditions should be treated before they reach a critical point. Through education and outreach, they help people of all ages better understand prevention, early identification, and intervention of mental illness. Moreover, their network of over 200 affiliates work with state and local policymakers to develop policies that promote mental health, including Medicaid expansion. In addition, they offer peer-to-peer support through their Peer Partners Program and provide resources on becoming a Peer Support Specialist.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Mental Health America has educated millions of people about mental illness and reduced barriers to treatment and services. So far, their MHA Screening, which provides confidential, clinically validated screens for mental illness, has screened 7,460,734 individuals. Furthermore, in 2020 alone, their public education efforts reached 19,045,019 people and they directly impacted 208,000 people suffering from mental health issues, including anxiety, through their support services. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Mental Health America via their website. You can also get involved by joining their advocacy movement or creating your own fundraiser.

Active Minds: Creating Hope out of Tragedy

Active Minds was founded by Alison Malmon in 2003 following the death of her brother by suicide. Recognizing the lack of mental health awareness groups on her university campus, she created her own. Today, Active Minds is one of the most preeminent organizations promoting mental health among teens and young adults.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Active Minds a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Changing the culture around mental health.”

Active Minds

What they do: Active Minds works to reduce the stigma surrounding anxiety and other mental health disorders on campuses, in the workplace, and in communities, by offering programs and services tailored to each of these environments. For example, Active Minds @Work offers simple and actionable tools for employees and employers to improve the culture of mental health in the workplace. Their campus initiatives, including both k-12 and college campuses, utilize a peer-to-peer approach to destigmatizing mental health. They also engage communities through awareness campaigns and resources.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Active Minds has impacted more than 8 million students in more than 600 chapters on college and high school campuses across the US. Each year, they host more than 6,000 community events. For example, one of their most notable awareness events is Send Silence Packing which has been run in over 200 locations across the US since 2008, impacting 946,710 individuals.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Active Minds via their website. You can also get involved by bringing Active Minds to your campus or community or creating your own fundraiser.

Child Mind Institute: Mental Health in the Developing Brain

The Child Mind Institute was founded in 2009 by Dr. Harold Koplewiscz to increase access to diagnosis and treatment for children with mental health and learning challenges, including anxiety. Today, they are the leading independent non-profit in children’s mental health.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the Child Mind Institute a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Reaching struggling kids wherever they are.”

Child Mind Institute

What they do: The Child Mind Institute helps children with mental health and learning challenges, including anxiety, through three initiative areas: care, education, and science. Their care initiative offers evaluation and treatment for a wide variety of mental health and learning concerns. Their education initiative includes the Family Resource Center and School and Community Programs, which provide families and communities with resources to promote children’s mental health. Their science initiative drives research into causes of mental health and learning challenges in developing brains and adapts treatments accordingly.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Child Mind Institute has treated more than 13,110 patients, over 75% of whom received services for free or at reduced cost. Their Healthy Brain Network has included more than 5,510 participants, and the data has been cited in more than 1,289 research articles. Furthermore, in 2021, more than 17 million people visited the organization’s website for free, evidence-based resources on children’s mental health issues, including anxiety.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Child Mind Institute via their website. You can also register to participate in an event by attending or becoming a sponsor.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation: Funding Mental Health Innovation

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation was founded in 1987 by a small group of individuals to increase the pace of research to find causes, treatments, and cures for mental illness, including anxiety. Today, they are the top non-governmental funder of mental health research grants in the US.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Funding cutting-edge research to find cures for mental illness.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

What they do: The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation improves the lives of people with anxiety and other mental illnesses by funding the most innovative ideas in neuroscience. They do this by awarding grants to scientists researching new ways to understand, prevent, and treat mental illness. For example, in 2005, they funded research on a new technology called Optogenetics, which is now in use at thousands of labs around the world, to understand the biological causes of mental illness, including anxiety.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has awarded more than $430 million to fund more than 6,200 grants in mental health research. Their funding has directly contributed to some of the biggest breakthroughs in the mental health community, including the first fast-acting antidepressants, non-invasive brain stimulation, and computer-guided early diagnosis of mental illness.

Ways to contribute: You can make a monetary donation to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation via their website. You can also get involved by sponsoring an event or creating your own fundraiser.

SeekHer Foundation: Bridging the Gender Gap of Mental Health

The SeekHer Foundation was founded in 2021 by Monica Mo. After suffering a mental breakdown, Mo recognized the need for an organization that focused on mental health issues, such as anxiety, affecting women. Today, the foundation supports women’s mental health through advocacy and empowerment. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The SeekHer Foundation is a charitable project supported by the Social Good Fund, which receives a 94% rating for Finance and Accountability from Charity Navigator. The fund also holds the GuideStar Silver Seal for Transparency.

“When we power more women, we power more good.”

The SeekHer Foundation

What they do: The SeekHer Foundation pinpoints challenges that impact women’s mental health, including anxiety, and identifies actionable solutions through advocacy campaigns, research, and funding support. For example, their body image campaign involves collaboration with health care providers, educators, and mentors to promote body inclusivity among young women. They also increase access to community-based care and emotional support to pregnant women who are more likely to suffer in silence with anxiety and depression. Furthermore, their self-care advocacy campaign provides resources for women to prioritize their wellness.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the SeekHer Foundation has provided mental health resources and self-care tools to over 3,600 students and connected over 212,000 women with wellness resources. For example, in 2021, they launched SeekHer Shift, a survey initiative that engaged over 1,100 women across the US. It identified the most pressing challenges to women’s mental health to guide future support efforts, including those with anxiety.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the SeekHer Foundation via their website. You can also host a school fundraiser, start a giveback initiative, or apply to be a SeekHer Scholar.

Postpartum Support International: Prioritizing Perinatal Mental Health

Postpartum Support International was founded in 1987 by Jane Honikman in California to increase awareness of the emotional changes experienced by women during and after pregnancy, including anxiety. Today, the charity provides peer-to-peer support and other resources to women, their families, and their friends.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Postpartum Support International a 94% rating for Finance and Accountability. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal for Transparency.

“You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well.”

Postpartum Support International

What they do: Postpartum Support International promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues during and after pregnancy, including postpartum anxiety. They do this by providing direct support through online support groups and peer-to-peer mentorship. Furthermore, their PSI HelpLine offers basic information, support, and resources around the clock, and their provider directory connects women to qualified mental health professionals in their area. They also advocate for increased research and funding for perinatal mental health.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Postpartum Support International has provided continued support for new mothers suffering from mental health issues. For example, in 2021, their PSI HelpLine utilized 65 volunteers to respond to 17,000 calls, emails, and texts. Furthermore, their online group therapy reached 11,285 parents. They also spearheaded Mind The Gap, an initiative to increase research and funding for perinatal mental health. In addition, their annual fundraiser, Climb Out of the Darkness, raised $178,654 across 134 events and 1,000 participants around the world.

Ways to contribute: You can support Postpartum Support International by donating, becoming a member, or volunteering. You can also participate in a Climb Out of the Darkness event.

Project Sanctuary: Mental Health for Healing Families

Project Sanctuary was founded in 2007 by Heather Ehle after she realized that there were no organizations dedicated to supporting the mental health of the families of veterans and service members. Today, Project Sanctuary is one of the only organizations focused on the mental health of the military family unit.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Project Sanctuary a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Helping Military families heal and move forward in life.”

Project Sanctuary

What they do: Project Sanctuary hosts military families affected by mental health issues, including anxiety, at six-day therapeutic retreats focused on recreation, education, and counseling. During these retreats, families learn skills vital to family mental health, such as conflict resolution and communication. The retreats also include workshops that educate families on stressors common to military families such as financial literacy, Post Traumatic Stress, and teen issues. Participants also have the opportunity to attend family, couple, and individual counseling sessions.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Project Sanctuary has expanded their services to include almost 30 retreats in 6 states. And, for example, in 2018, Project Sanctuary was the subject of a study from Clemson University evaluating the effectiveness of recreation-based therapy for injured service members; results indicated that participation led to reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Project Sanctuary via their website. You can also get involved by volunteering at a retreat or participating in their annual fundraiser, The Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Poker Classic.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight anxiety. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to fighting anxiety – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Alycia

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Alycia O'Dell

Alycia loves to research and write about organizations that invest in the health and welfare of marginalized communities. She holds a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and works with children with autism. Outside of work, she is a new mom to twins and loves helping them learn and explore.

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