Throwback Thursday: Clifford Beers

clifford beers_portrait

Clifford Beers was a Yale graduate who founded the first outpatient, mental health clinic in 1913 called the Clifford Beers Clinic, which is still in existence today (Clifford Beers Clinic, 2015). He was one of the first advocates for improving the treatment of those afflicted by mental illness (The Social Welfare History Project, 2015).

clifford beers

Mr. Beers suffered from mental illness himself, and in 1900, was confined for the first time due to depression and paranoia. In 1908, he published a book A Mind That Found Itself, which chronicled the abuse and maltreatment that he witnessed as an inpatient.

“…I trust that it is not now too late, however, to protest in behalf of the thousands of outraged patients in private and state hospitals whose mute submission to such indignities has never been recorded.” (Beers, 1908)

In 1908, Beers founded the Connecticut Mental Hygiene Society, which expanded to the National Committee for Mental Hygiene in 1909. Today, the organization is known as the Mental Health America, which is a community-based non-profit dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives (Mental Health America, 2015).


Beers, Clifford. (1908). A Mind That Found Itself. Chapter 7. Retrieved from

Clifford Beers Clinic. (2015). The History of the Clifford Beers Clinic. Retrieved from

Mental Health America. (2015). Our History. Retrieved from

The Social Welfare History Project. (2015). Beers, Clifford Whittingham. Retrieved from


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