The Monarch Butterfly is a majestic butterfly which has been chosen as a symbol for people affected by mental illness. In the early stage of its development, the cocoon-like condition of the butterfly resembles the depressed and withdrawn feelings commonly shared by people whose lives are affected by mental illness. It is without beauty or even the promise of brightness. The transition from cocoon to the delicate monarch, rich in color, symbolizes the journey so many people travel when their lives are affected by mental illness. The colors of the triumphant monarch suggests warm sunshine, brightness and hope. Just as people affected by mental illness travel toward recovery, health and wholeness, the majestic monarch overcomes many obstacles as it travels hundreds of miles in migration.
What Our Name Represents
As an organization, Mental Health Association of Monmouth County is celebrating 67 years and our affiliate Mental Health America just finished celebrating 105 years last year. We began our work in 1909 when Clifford W. Beers, a young businessman who struggled with a mental illness and shared his story with the world in his autobiography “A Mind That Found Itself,” created a national citizensí group to promote mental health and improve conditions for children and adults living with these health issues. It was a revolutionary act and attracted prominent national leaders of the time, including the philosopher William James and the Rockefeller family.
The new name of our affiliate, Mental Health America, was chosen to communicate how fundamental mental health is to the overall health and well-being of every American. Our new logo is meant to convey Mental Health America as a forward-looking, vibrant movement. The bell image in the logo is a graphic representation of an actual 300 lb. bell, the Mental Health America Bell. The Bell was forged more than 50 years ago with iron chains and shackles that bound people in mental asylums. It serves as a vital reminder of our past and the progress we have made, and a powerful symbol of our vital mission.
We invite all Americans to join our movement to help all people live mentally healthier lives.