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Mental Health Bell

A Symbol of Hope
Cast from shackles which bound them,
this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally
ill and victory over mental illness.

Inscription: The Mental Health Bell:
Inhumane bindings recast into a sign of hope.

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, 1953, 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. Over the years, national mental health
leaders and other prominent individuals have
rung the Bell to mark the continued progress in
the fight for victory over mental illnesses.
One Man”s Dream – Video – Clifford W. Beers:

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