Another idea for holiday “shopping” this season is to in some way get involved with a mental health charity or organization.

You could:

  • Make a donation in a friend’s or loved one’s name.
  • Purchase a membership for someone.
  • Purchase merchandise, which will both help the organization and give your receiver something cool to sport.
  • Point your friend or loved on in the direction of a much-needed resource. (Obviously, this one is of a more sensitive nature and you should probably consider the person and your relationship before proceeding.)

Of course, you could always align yourself with one of the bigger, more established mental health organizations such as the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health America, and NARSAD – but hey, we have a celebrity theme going on here, right? 🙂

In addition to the organizations included in the NBC Nightly News “Making a Difference” series, take some time to check out:

  • EmsCharityKiss: EmsCharityKiss isn’t supported by any celebrity, but it does focus on one: Robert Pattinson. Megan Jackson, the mastermind behind EmsCharityKiss, has two goals in mind: The first involves raising awareness and research funds for depression via Everyday Hero and One In Five Australia, and the second involves getting RPattz to grant her her first kiss. You can donate to the cause through any of the sites, and I’m betting the “For Kissing Handsome Vampires” lip balm at would make a great stocking stuffer for…well, just about any female in your family.
  • No Kidding, Me Too! Joey Pantoliano’s No Kidding, Me Too! is on a mission to bring together people dealing with mental illness and eradicate the stigma associated with it. The organization, which is backed by a slew of famous names, accepts donations and according to the website you can get a copy of the No Kidding, Me Too! documentary when you donate $50 or more.
  • Bring Change 2 Mind: Glenn Close and her sister Jessie Close launched Bring Change 2 Mind last October, and if you want to make a donation, the organization currently suggests that you support “organizations that fund and conduct important studies.” (There’s also a form you can submit to make sure you’re notified when Bring Mind 2 Changes starts offering t-shirts and other merchandise – that won’t help you during this holiday season, but it might be a good thing to stay on top of for later.)
  • Blueprint for Hope: With the help of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Dr. Jesse H. Wright, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition‘s bubbly carpenter-slash-designer pulled out a different kind of hammer and launched Blueprint for Hope, a “campaign to inspire people to speak with a health care professional about their depression symptoms and raise awareness of the importance of working with a health care professional to build a personalized “blueprint,” or plan, for managing their illness.” The campaign doesn’t currently accept donations or offer memberships through its website, sometimes pointing someone in need in the direction of a good resource is the best gift you can give.

Remember, these are just celebrity-related suggestions. You might want to keep it close to home, helping out the mental health and other kinds of organizations in your own area.

(This post is part of the “Holiday Shopping With Celebrity Psychings” series. Learn more about what it’s all about, check out gift ideas related to music, books, and movies, and come back tomorrow to find out how you can give the gift of mental health by purchasing almost anything you can search for online!)