Introducing -- Outreach Connection

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NIMH Director Insel

NIMH Director Thomas Insel, MD

Greetings Outreach Partners!
I’m pleased to have this opportunity through the first issue of Outreach Connection to shine a light on the Outreach Partnership Program and express NIMH’s gratitude for the work that you do to advance the Institute’s mission. NIMH views its partnership with your organizations as critical to the Institute’s ability to achieve our public health mandate. Through your lens, working in your states and communities on some of the most burdensome issues facing our Nation – from the loss of life to suicide to national disasters such as Hurricane Sandy to the toll of the invisible wounds of war – NIMH better understands the issues that matter for research to move mental health forward. These insights are of enormous value – and of equal importance is your work to get NIMH research out to the right people, at the right time, with the information they need. Throughout this newsletter, you will find examples of this important work. Read on to learn more.


Getting Research Out

Through traditional media, social media, statewide and community events, and other activities, Outreach Partners are hard at work reaching the residents of their states with the latest mental health research. Here are just a few examples:


NAMI Minnesota live tweeted NIMH Director Thomas Insel's presentation at the National NAMI Convention.

NAMI Alabama reprinted the NIMH Director's Blog Words Matter in its recent newsletter to constituents.

The Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, Inc. distributed NIMH materials at a deployment meeting with the 108th Airborne in Topeka, Kansas.

Tennessee Voices for Children is using NIMH Spanish language materials in outreach and training to Hispanic parents in Sumner County, Tennessee.

Mental Health America (MHA) of Louisiana staff traveled to LaPlace, Louisiana to reach out to families and children affected by Hurricane Issac. NIMH booklets were given to rescue responders, community workers, and parents affected by the disaster. 

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MHA LA and First Responders

Extending the Reach

The connections forged between Outreach Partners and researchers at the Program’s annual meeting often spawn new efforts to make science accessible to the public. Highlighted below are examples of how Outreach Partners and scientists are getting research to those who need it most:

NIMH Grantees Headline NAMI New York State Educational Conference

Dr. Cerruli at NAMI NYS Meeting

The 30th anniversary of this statewide conference featured researchers from past OPP annual meetings, including  Catherine Cerrulli, J.D., Ph.D., Director of the NIMH-funded Laboratory for Interpersonal Violence and Victimization in Rochester. Cerrulli, a 2011 OPP annual meeting presenter, spoke about how families can help their loved ones navigate the criminal justice system. NIMH grantees, Donald Goff, M.D. of the Nathan Kline Institute and Lisa Dixon, M.D. from the Center for Practice Innovations at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, also provided an update on research being conducted in New York State.

Partners Bring Research on Suicide and Older Adults to their Communities

Dr. Greg Brown presenting at NIMH OPP 2012 Annual Meeting

After hearing a talk at the Program’s 2012 meeting about safety planning and preventing suicide in older adults by University of Pennsylvania’s Gregory Brown, Ph.D., two Partners found avenues to bring this research to providers in their communities.

The MHA of New York City-coordinated Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York held a symposium for providers of aging services featuring Brown's work and that of other NIMH grantees focused on geriatric depression, including the University of Rochester’s Yeates Conwell, M.D., and Weill Cornell’s Patrick Raue, Ph.D.

The Mental Health Association of Maryland (MHAMD) featured Brown's presentation, Suicide Prevention in Older Adults, in trainings for social workers and nurses.

Bullying Prevention Seminar in Maryland

MHAMD and the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research sponsored a bullying prevention seminar for educators and healthcare providers featuring 2011 Annual Meeting presenter Stephen Leff, M.D. of the University of Pennsylvania. Leff is testing a new intervention with urban African American girls aimed at reducing relational aggression (e.g., rumor-spreading, excluding, and verbal insulting), a common form of bullying among girls.

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Tackling Disparities

When it comes to gaps in access to and quality of mental health care, Outreach Partners are making a difference by reaching out to populations in need.

Mother and Infant

Georgia Healthy Moms Initiative

Through its Project Healthy Moms initiative, Mental Health America of Georgia (MHA of GA) works to shed light on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), the leading complications of childbirth in the U.S. “All women of childbearing age are at-risk, yet few providers know about PMADs and how to treat them, and typically don’t screen for them,” says MHA of GA’s Sarah Schwartz. Through this initiative, MHA of GA provides: 1) the Upcoming Provider Program to educate students in the health professions; 2) the PMAD Screening and Training Project for providers that come in contact with childbearing women (e.g., physicians, nurses, social workers, home visitors, and others); 3) the Pregnant Pause newsletter; 4) Perinatal Peer Support and Resource Linkage, featuring online and in-person peer support and a warmline; 5) the Beyond Postpartum blog; and 6) an online Perinatal Depression Screening provider toolkit. These efforts aim to increase awareness of the prevalence and symptoms of PMADs; the adverse consequences for mothers, babies, and the entire family; the need for and ways to screen for PMADs; and treatment options and referral methods. MHA of GA also collaborates with the Women’s Mental Health Program at Emory University to promote participation in PMAD studies.

MHA of GA recently established the Georgia Coalition on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, comprised of provider organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, and maternal and child health nonprofits such as the Georgia Perinatal Association and Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of Georgia. Since its launch in July 2012, the Coalition has enlisted State Representative Sharon Cooper, (R-D43), a nurse and advocate for women’s issues, to sponsor a resolution establishing February 3-9, 2013 as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week in Georgia. The Coalition rolled out a public awareness campaign to mark the week, which was kicked off with a presentation by Schwartz to the State Health and Human Services Committee chaired by Rep. Cooper.

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Promoting Research Opportunities

Outreach Partners are getting out the word about the benefits of participation in research and NIMH-funded studies that are actively seeking volunteer research participants. Check it out:

East Texas AHEC Tweet

East Texas Area Health Education Center re-tweets NIMH study announcements to its Twitter followers.

The Massachusetts Association of Mental Health distributes announcements about NIMH studies to clubhouses and other peer-run organizations statewide.

NIMH Intramural Exhibit at NAMI NYS Meeting

NAMI New York State invited the NIMH Intramural Research Schizophrenia Program to exhibit at its 2012 Educational Conference.

Collaborating with Researchers

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

Ethics in Research Webinar for Idaho Practitioners

The Idaho State University Institute of Rural Health, in collaboration with the NIMH Intramural Research Program, held an educational webinar on research ethics. The webinar featured expert clinicians from NIMH’s Human Subjects Protection Unit to provide an overview of the historical aspects and current understanding of informed consent, including ethical standards for assessing capacity to provide informed consent. As one participant stated in the post-webinar evaluation survey, “When working with older adults and others that suffer cognitive impairments, understanding and having the tools to assess ‘capacity’ at any level of information is very valuable.”

Promotion of Multi-Site Psychotic Depression Study

Outreach Partners in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are helping increase awareness about the NIMH-funded multi-site study, Sustaining Remission of Severe Depression: The STOP-PD II Research Study. Whether through website postings, listserv announcements, support group meetings, or community events, these Outreach Partners are helping to advance research into the treatment of this serious mental illness.

Researchers are still actively recruiting for STOP-PD II, which examines how long people need to stay on an antipsychotic medication to prevent new episodes of psychosis after recovering from their initial symptoms. For more information, contact study coordinator Patricia Marino at 914-997-8691.

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

Winter 2013

Welcome New Partners

NIMH is pleased to welcome two new Outreach Partners to serve the state of California.

Mental Health Association in California will represent the Northern/Central regions of the state.

Mental Health America of Los Angeles will serve the Southern regions of the state.

Learn about the Program’s Solicitation planned for summer 2013.

News of Note: NIMH Director Testifies about Mental Health System

Read NIMH Director Thomas Insel's testimony at a recent U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing-- Assessing the State of America’s Mental Health System. 

New from NIMH

Print Publications Ready for Ordering

Depression Among College Students-Cover

NEW: Bipolar Disorder in Adults (NIH 12-3679)

NEW: Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents (NIH 12-6380)

REVISED: Depression and College Students: Answers to college students' frequently asked questions about depression (NIH 12-4266)

REVISED: Depression and High School Students: Answers to students’ frequently asked questions about depression (OM 12-4302)

Upcoming Observances & Resources

Check out the NIMH resources below that are available to support upcoming annual mental health observances!

Brain Awareness Week
(March 11-17, 2013)
NIMH offers science education resources about the brain that can be used in schools and other community settings, including the online tool, Brain Basics; Brains Inner Workings, aimed at high school youth; and The Science of Mental Illness, intended for middle school students.

Don't forget NIMH videos, such as Development of the Young Brain and a video of the brain's wiring in 3D!

National Autism Awareness Month
(April 2013)
Take a look at the NIMH publication, A Parent's Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other NIMH resources on autism.

Mental Health Month
(May 2013)
NIMH has a number of materials and resources to take advantage of during Mental Health Month!

National Child Mental Health Awareness Day
(May 9, 2013)
Find NIMH brochures and videos about children and adolescents, including the fact sheets Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents, Depression among Children and Adolescents, and Teen Brain: Still Under Construction.

PTSD Awareness Month
(June 2013)
For resources to observe PTSD Awareness Month, check out the NIMH booklet on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other resources and videos about the disorder.

Studies Seeking Participants

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

Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
(Inpatient: 4-5 months)
This study seeks to learn about specific brain changes associated with bipolar disorder. Participants must have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and not be doing well on their current medications. The child must be currently in treatment with a physician, medically healthy and not currently hospitalized, psychotic or suicidal. The study includes inpatient hospitalization to gradually discontinue current medication, MRI brain imaging and research and computer tasks performed during a 2-week medication-free period followed by standard medication provided during the transitional period back to the child’s provider. Study does  not involve novel or experimental treatments. Schooling is provided. Recruiting ages 7-17. [00-M-0198]

Treatment-Resistant Depression & Ketamine & 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]

Partners Join the Conversation on Social Media

NIMH and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recently hosted Twitter chats on depression and anxiety and stress. Among the nearly 650 participants were several Outreach Partners and National Partners, including:

American Psychological Association
East Texas Area Health Education Center 
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders
NAMI Arkansas
NAMI Oregon
Society for Public Health Education
Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Missed the chats? See them here.

Follow NIMH on Twitter to get the latest NIMH announcements! 

About the Program

The Outreach Partnership Program, a nationwide initiative of the NIMH Office of Constituency Relations and Public Liaison (OCRPL), 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 Outreach Partners and National Partners are spreading the word about mental health research across the country. If you have feedback about the e-newsletter, please contact

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