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NIMH Director Insel

NIMH Director Thomas Insel, MD

This fall, I’m pleased to share some exciting news with you. First, we are celebrating two extraordinary NIMH-supported scientists: Thomas Südhof, M.D. from Stanford for being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his groundbreaking work in brain signaling, and Susan Murphy, Ph.D. from the University of Michigan for being named to the esteemed 2013 class of MacArthur Fellows for her innovative work to customize treatment regimens for individuals coping with chronic or relapsing disorders such as depression or substance abuse. Second, work is getting underway on an historic neuroscience research initiative involving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other Federal and private partners. What President Obama has called, “the next great American project,” the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative will support the development of new technologies for understanding how neural circuits link to behavior. Leveraging recent progress in molecular biology and imaging, we can now make rapid progress on understanding neural circuits, including the circuits involved in mental illness. Already, NIH has approved nine high-priority research areas for BRAIN proposed by leading neuroscientists for fiscal year 2014 funding. Stay tuned for updates about this unprecedented neuroscience effort.


Getting Research Out

Outreach Partners disseminate NIMH materials and research findings throughout their state.

Idaho State Univ Tweet

The Institute of Rural Health at Idaho State University created a new Twitter feed, @ID_Mentalhealth, to distribute mental health information from NIMH and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

BHECN Ambassador Program

High school students from 16 Nebraska communities attended the first of what will be the annual Ambassador High School Conference to learn about behavioral health and health careers that serve people with mental illness. Students received NIMH materials about depression and suicide. The purpose of this conference, coordinated by the Nebraska Outreach Partner, the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, is to connect students from rural communities with behavioral health professionals and graduate-level students who can serve as mentors and encourage their career goals.


The Vermont Association for Mental Health and Recovery provided NIMH materials for an exhibit table at a concert by the Me/2 Orchestra, a classical music organization created for individuals with mental illnesses and the people who support them. The concert featured performances that encourage dialogue about mental health issues.

NAMI Utah Mental Health Observance

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI Utah utilized information from NIMH in its "A Fact a Day in the Month of May" campaign. Throughout May, NAMI Utah shared facts about mental health through Facebook, Twitter, and on its website. During the month of May, the Facebook posts were viewed by thousands of people, and the number of individuals who “Liked” NAMI Utah’s page increased by nearly 200.

UT Facebook Mental Health Fact


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Extending the Reach

After the Program's Annual Meeting, Partners are bringing the findings to their own communities.


NAMI Iowa shared research findings at its affiliate meetings through a compilation of annual meeting presentations.

Following a presentation by DSM-5 Task Force chair, David Kupfer, M.D., the Puerto Rico Outreach Partner, the University of Puerto Rico's Institute for Psychological Research, created a fact sheet in Spanish about the changes in the DSM-5.

The Federation of Families of South Carolina shared annual meeting presentations about the teen brain, anxiety, and childhood bipolar disorder with the 15 pediatric practices in South Carolina participating in the South Carolina-CHIPRA (Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act) pilot grant.

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Tackling Disparities

Partners conduct outreach projects addressing mental disorders among children and adolescents, or mental health disparities.

MHAC Check Your Head

Colorado Youth Outreach

 In the 2011 Healthy Kids Colorado survey of high school students, 16.4 percent of respondents stated they had considered suicide and nine percent had attempted suicide. The city of Denver has the largest number of reported youth suicides in the state. Mental Health America of Colorado’s (MHAC) Check Your Head (CYH) school-based program seeks to reduce suicide and other forms of violence in Denver by strengthening protective factors among at risk youth. Skilled youth leaders teach students how to express their emotions through the arts. Students combine hip-hop elements – dance, lyrics, and art – with their knowledge of emotional wellness and fuse them into a creative performance for their peers. Students explore issues such as self-identity, conflict resolution, depression, tolerance, and other topics during a six-week CYH enrichment course. Youth share personal experiences on each theme and discuss various NIMH statistics, which are integrated into the curriculum content. MHAC also distributes NIMH brochures to participating schools. Through CYH, MHAC also provides educational presentations to school personnel and parents to establish a support system for youth who may be experiencing mental health issues. After completing the program, graduates of CYH were more likely to report that they had increased self-confidence and educational aspirations, and had the skills to resolve conflicts.

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Promoting Research Opportunities

Outreach Partners are getting out the word about opportunities for the public to participate in research.

NAMI North Carolina created a new webpage to promote NIMH and local research studies.


Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio (MHANKSO) produced a cable show with the Lindner Center for Hope, a local mental health treatment center that conducts research, to increase understanding about the importance of clinical research. The show describes how studies are managed, and the pros and cons of study participation. It was distributed to regional cable stations, inpatient behavioral health units, and a regional college, and is available on MHANKSO's YouTube Channel.

IPR Depression and Diabetes Flyer

The Puerto Rico Outreach Partner assisted in the recruitment of participants for NIMH-funded depression studies at the University of Puerto Rico. The Partner promoted the studies through flyers, its website, Facebook, and radio programs. 

NAMI New York State toured the NIH Clinical Center during the OPP 2013 Annual Meeting and subsequently the Partner prepared a summary for its newsletter describing what families and individuals may experience if participating in a study at the NIH.

NAMI Iowa embedded an NIMH video about one family's experience participating in clinical research into its newsletter to encourage its community to learn about involvement in research.

  NAMI Iowa Newsletter


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Collaborating with Researchers

Partners are teaming up with researchers in their states to promote clinical trials, and disseminate and apply research. Here are just a couple examples:

Brose Brain Scan

The Mental Health Association in Tulsa (MHAT) has teamed up with the Laureate Institute for Brain Research to educate its community about brain research. To kick off its "Scan Your Brain" campaign and encourage community members to participate in research, MHAT's Executive Director Mike Brose volunteered to have his brain scanned (pictured here) for a research project, and share his experience through multiple educational activities, including a video on his blog.

Taking Research to the Community

Partners provide opportunities for NIMH scientists and grantees to present their findings at local meetings and conferences.

NAMI South Dakota's annual conference featured Stuart White, Ph.D., a NIMH DIRP scientist, who discussed the state of the science in the development, assessment, and treatment of antisocial behavior.

NIMH Deputy Director Phil Wang presenting at MHAT Annual Symposium

MHAT's 19th Annual Zarrow Mental Health Symposium featured Philip Wang, M.D., NIMH Deputy Director, who presented the opening plenary, "Current Research and Emerging Knowledge: An Update from NIMH."

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Outreach Connection is a service of the National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Outreach Partnership Program (OPP).

Fall 2013

Seeking Proposals for New Partners

NIMH is seeking proposals from organizations interested in becoming Outreach Partners in the District of Columbia, Alaska, Michigan, and Missouri. Non-profit organizations that conduct mental health outreach are invited to submit proposals.

 Proposals are due 11:59PM ET December 18, 2013.

Read solicitation and eligibility criteria.

NIMH Intramural Researchers Recognized

Congratulations to researchers in the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs (DIRP) for recognition of their contributions to the scientific community.

Daniel Pine

Institute of Medicine


Daniel S. Pine, M.D., has been elected as a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine. Dr. Pine is the chief of the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience at NIMH. 

Jay Giedd

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation


 Jay N. Giedd, M.D., chief of the Unit on Brain Imaging in the Child Psychiatry Branch at NIMH, was honored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for his “outstanding research leadership and contributions to mental health research.”

National Partner Activities

The Program's National Partners actively promote NIMH research.

Webinars Featuring NIMH Research

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation featured NIMH DIRP scientists in its Meet the Scientist webinar series. The archived videos are available for viewing and include: "Ketamine & Next Generation Therapies" by Carlos Zarate, M.D., Chief, Section on the Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood Disorders and Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch, and "Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia: The Study and Treatment" by Judith Rapoport, M.D., Chief of the NIMH Child Psychology Branch.

 Twitter Chats

In observance of Borderline Personality Day, NIMH grantee and President of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, Dr. Perry Hoffman, participated in an NIMH Twitter chat.


Promotional Tweets

 The American Psychiatric Nurses Association live tweeted NIMH Director Thomas Insel’s keynote address at its annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute.

APNA Tweet

After the release of the Spanish version of NIMH's publication about borderline personality disorder, the Balanced Mind Foundation tweeted an announcement about its availability.

Balanced Mind Tweet

OPP Visits Outreach Partners

Each year, OPP staff strive to learn about issues and activities across the states by attending Outreach Partner meetings.


Mississippi: 2013 Community Wellness Conference


In May, Outreach Liaison Rajni Agarwal participated in this wellness conference hosted by the Mississippi Coast Interfaith Disaster Task Force.


Indiana: Annual Mental Health Symposium


In June, Outreach Liaison Samantha Helfert attended Mental Health of America of Indiana's annual symposium and provided a brief presentation about NIMH resources and opportunities for public participation in clinical research.


Oklahoma: 19th Annual Zarrow Symposium


In September, OPP Director Diana Morales participated in Mental Health Association in Tulsa's annual symposium.

Studies Seeking Participants

The NIMH Intramural Program in Bethesda, MD is seeking participants for the following trials. Spread the word.

Descriptive Study of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

(Outpatient: 1-3 visits and may include follow-up visits until age 25) This study describes, over time, the moods and behavior of children. Participants must have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, be currently in treatment with a physician, medically healthy and not currently hospitalized, psychotic or suicidal. The study includes performing research & computer tasks, neuropsychological testing, and MRI brain imaging. Recruiting ages 6-17. [00-M-0198]

Treatment-Resistant Depression & Ketamine & Riluzole--Rapid Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine and Bipolar Depression & Riluzole

(Inpatient: 6-8 weeks) Two studies hope to improve depression symptoms within 24 hours, and continue the improvement using medications. Recruiting ages 18-65. [04-M-0222, 03-M-0092]

Schizophrenia and Genetics

(Outpatient: 1-2 days) This study examines the role genes play in schizophrenia. Eligible participants have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and no serious drug or alcohol abuse. If possible, the siblings and/or parents of the individuals are invited for interviews and blood donation. Travel and lodging assistance may be available. Recruiting ages 18-55. [95-M-0150] 

About the Program

The Outreach Partnership Program, a nationwide initiative of the NIMH Office of Constituency Relations and Public Liaison, works to increase the public’s access to science-based mental health information through partnerships with national and state nonprofit organizations. The program has 55 Outreach Partners representing all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and over 80 National Partners, including professional, consumer, advocacy, and service-related organizations with a nationwide membership and/or audience.


The Outreach Connection provides a vehicle to share how the Outreach Partners and National Partners are disseminating NIMH research across the country. If you have feedback about the newsletter, please contact