Incorporated in 1953, the Mental Health Association of Morris County (MHAMC) is a local chapter of the New Jersey Division of the National Mental Health Association, today known as Mental Health America."Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness."
During the early days of mental health treatment, asylums often restrained people who had mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped. In the early 1950s, Mental Health America 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., Mental Health America melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: the Mental Health Bell.
Now the symbol of Mental Health America, the 300-pound Bell serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible 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 illnesses.