Read the Latest Outreach Connection from NIMH: Spring 2018

Learn how NIMH Outreach and National Partners are sharing NIMH information in their communities

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NIMH Director Joshua Gordon

NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. 

It is common for parents to feel like they are on a roller coaster with their teenager. One day their teen is upset and cannot be consoled, and the following day their teen denies anything is wrong. Mood swings can be normal in teens, between the hormonal and neurodevelopmental changes their bodies and brains undergo, and the social and academic pressures they experience. Most will successfully weather this time in their lives. For some teens, however, persistent changes in mood and behavior may be signs of something more serious. In 2016, an estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States—or nearly 13 percent—had at least one major depressive episode. Most teens with depression go untreated, which puts them at risk for a host of negative outcomes, from school and relationship struggles to involvement in risky behaviors like substance use and self-harm.  

The American Academy of Pediatrics raised this concern in its new guidelines on adolescent depression screening. The guidelines call on primary care providers to screen all youth ages 10 to 21 annually for depression and, along with parents and others, to watch for any signs of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in youth. During a recent NIMH workshop, researchers noted the suicide rate in adolescents and young adults has been steadily rising since the early 2000s. Between 2007 and 2015, the rate increased 31 percent for teen boys and doubled for teen girls. While depression is not solely to blame for this rise, it is a significant risk factor for suicide. 

NIMH is hard at work supporting research into the causes and treatment of adolescent depression as well as educating the public about what we are learning. I encourage you to check out NIMH resources on teen depression and suicide as you gear up for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in May, including the refreshed NIMH statistics webpages on depression, the teen depression brochure, and the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) toolkit. ASQ, which has been translated into eight languages, can help providers identify and manage youth at risk for suicide. Finally, in observance of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, NIMH will host a Twitter Chat on adolescent depression featuring Dr. Argyris Stringaris and Dr. Ken Towbin from the NIMH Intramural Research Programs (IRP) Mood Brain and Development Unit. Follow @NIMHgov on Twitter and please join us on Thursday, May 3 at 3:00 p.m. ET. 


Getting Out the Research

Outreach Partners are disseminating NIMH materials and research findings throughout their states.

MHA of Georgia tweeted about an NIMH workshop highlighting the latest research on adolescent suicide prevention.

MHA Georgia Tweet 

Through its weekly community television show, United Self Help, the Hawaii Outreach Partner, makes viewers aware of resources available on the NIMH website.

Partners distributed NIMH materials to support victims of Hurricane Harvey. At community informational sessions, MHA of Louisiana handed out brochures to individuals who had relocated to Lafayette, LA. During a variety of campus activities, Sam Houston State University, the Texas Border Outreach Partner, shared materials with students impacted by the hurricane.

NAMI Maine distributed NIMH publications to health care providers and community members at a Mental Health First Aid training in the northernmost, rural county of the state.

NIMH Older Adults and Depression brochure

In observance of National Long-Term Care Awareness Month, the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health's e-newsletter promoted NIMH’s Older Adults and Depression brochure.

NIMH eBooks

NAMI New York State’s (NAMI NYS) newsletter featured the availability of NIMH eBooks and instructions for using them.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance-West Virginia shared NIMH materials at its peer support group meetings across the state.

Tailoring Content

Outreach Partners are adapting NIMH information for materials they create for their community education efforts.

NIMH Stress Fact Sheet Banner

NAMI Arkansas incorporated information from the NIMH fact sheet about stress into a community presentation about managing depression during the holiday season. 

Addressing Disparities

Outreach Partners are using NIMH materials and research in their efforts to address mental health disparities.

SD Great Plains Artwork

NAMI South Dakota shared NIMH publications at the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board Summit, reaching tribal members in communities and reservations from across the state.

MHA Middle TN Festival

As part of its outreach to the Latino community, MHA of Middle Tennessee disseminated NIMH Spanish language materials at events and fairs such as a local Día de Los Muertos festival. 

NAMI Washington distributed NIMH materials to Veterans and their family members at local Veteran’s Administration (VA) functions, including the VA Mental Health Awareness Day and the VA Mental Health Summit. 

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First Episode Psychosis (FEP) Outreach

Thanks to the many efforts of Outreach and National Partners, communities are learning about FEP programs and NIMH Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) findings.


In addition to referring individuals and families to Indiana University FEP programs, NAMI Indiana has been educating its state legislators about FEP and Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) with information from the NIMH RAISE webpages

To support the University of Minnesota's NAVIGATE FEP project, NAMI Minnesota (NAMI MN) conducted a series of focus groups with communities of color to learn more about cultural views on mental health, and approaches to education and support. In addition, the NAMI MN Annual Research dinner featured a presentation on identifying and treating children and adolescents at risk for psychosis.

Promoting Research Opportunities

Outreach Partners are informing their communities about NIMH-funded clinical trials actively recruiting participants. 

NIMH IRP Teen and Depression Study Flyer

The Alaska Youth and Family Network posted a study flyer for the NIMH IRP study about teenagers and depression on its Facebook photo stream.

NAMI Connecticut uses its website to promote research opportunities such as an NIMH-funded study of an emotional dysregulation psychotherapy treatment being conducted at Yale University.

IL Study

MHA Illinois convened its statewide coalition of mental health advocacy, professional, and community organizations to meet with research staff from an NIMH-funded study about suicide prevention among older Chinese adults. Coalition members learned about the study and provided suggestions for new avenues to reach the study population.

The Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH) assisted in promotional efforts for the NIMH-funded Boston Adolescent Neuroimaging of Depression and Anxiety study. In addition to sharing study materials on Facebook, MAMH offered ideas to research staff for recruiting adolescents with a history of depression and anxiety.

MHA of South Mississippi used Facebook to promote National Institutes of Health (NIH) and VA studies that it identified on

NAMI VT Enewsletter Banner

NAMI Vermont informed through its e-newsletter its members about the opportunity to participate in an NIMH IRP depression study.  

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Educating the Public about Research

Partners are educating their communities about the importance of research and the research process.

During in-service professional development seminars, the Arizona State University Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy provided information about clinical research and current opportunities to participate in trials.

NAMI NH Enewsletter

NAMI New Hampshire educated its members about brain donation and research through an e-newsletter article sharing a family’s experience donating their sister's brain for research.

NIMH Clinical Research and You Fact Sheet

Partners use the NIMH fact sheet, Clinical Research Trials and You: Questions and Answers, to educate the public about research. NAMI Michigan (NAMI MI) shared the fact sheet at an affiliate’s annual conference featuring a research talk about an University of Michigan study on cognitive training. MHA of South Central Kansas disseminated it to students and behavioral health providers at a conference sponsored by the Wichita State University School of Social Work. 

MHA Middle TN Slide How to Find a Trial

As part of a webinar about mental health resources and referrals for primary care physicians, MHA of Middle Tennessee highlighted NIMH publications online and how to find research trials in the state.

Taking Research to the Community

Partners are providing opportunities for NIMH scientists and grantees to take their research to the community. 

MHA CA ED Zima Creason and NIMH's Michael Schoenbaum

MHA California (MHA CA) hosted Michael Schoenbaum, Ph.D., NIMH Senior Advisor for Mental Health Services, Epidemiology, and Economics, at its behavioral health wellness fair to educate its statewide coalition of community and professional organizations about the latest research to improve outcomes for young people after initial onset of psychosis

NAMI NJ Silverstein

At its annual conference, NAMI New Jersey educated its members about FEP and CSC during a panel with NIMH grantee, Steven Silverstein, Ph.D., of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, and representatives of local FEP clinics. 

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

Spring 2018

New from NIMH

These updated NIMH materials are now available online.

NIMH Borderline Personality Disorder Brochure

Borderline Personality Disorder
Learn about borderline personality disorder, an illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior.

Suicide in America: Frequently Asked Questions
This fact sheet can help you, or a friend or family member, learn about the signs and symptoms, risk factors, warning signs, and ongoing research about suicide and suicide prevention.

Eating Disorders: About More Than Food
This brochure provides information about different types of eating disorders, how eating disorders are treated, and what research is being done to better understand these disorders. 

This brochure on schizophrenia explains what it is, when it starts, and how to get help.

Upcoming Observances and Resources

NIMH SAD Twitter Chat image

Thank you to all the Partners who helped promote the NIMH Twitter Chat on Seasonal Affective Disorder. The archived conversation can be found on the NIMH Twitter Chat webpage.

Below are resources you may consider using for upcoming health observances.

National Autism Awareness Month
April 2018
Take a look at the NIMH publication, A Parent's Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder.

May is Mental Health Month
May 2018
Check out NIMH materials and resources for your Mental Health Month activities. 

Borderline Personality Disorder Month
May 2018
See NIMH's webpage on borderline personality disorder.

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
May 10, 2018
Find NIMH brochures and videos about mental health issues in children and adolescents. 

National Prevention Week
May 13-19, 2018
Find NIMH resources about suicide prevention

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month
June 2018
See NIMH resources about PTSD.

National Partner Activities

The American Psychiatric Association blogged about findings from an NIMH-funded study examining the risk of suicide among young people with FEP

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America promoted NIMH’s IRP study on teenagers and depression via its e-newsletter

A Brain and Behavior Research Foundation blog post shared findings from an NIMH-funded study about pediatrics-based brief therapy for youth with anxiety and depression.

SAARDA Exhibit

The Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America distributed NIMH materials as part of its Hearing Voices of Support interactive art installation.   

Outreach Partner Steering Committee

The following Outreach Partners have joined the NIMH Outreach Partner Steering Committee:

Zima Creason, MHA CA

Mark Creekmore, NAMI MI

Hugh Davis, Wisconsin Family Ties

Lisa Furst, MHA New York City

Karen LaPlante, MHA Oklahoma

Marcia Pinck, MHA of Southeast Florida

Mathew Shapiro, NAMI NYS

Inside NIMH

Inside NIMH Banner

Interested in the latest information about NIMH scientists and science, recent NIMH-sponsored meetings, and future research directions? Check out the Winter 2018 issue of Inside NIMH and subscribe to receive future issues.

Studies Seeking Participants

The NIMH IRP in Bethesda, MD is seeking participants for the following trials. Please spread the word.

NIH Clinical Center

Depression Research Studies
Does depression impede your daily life? Are you currently feeling sad and hopeless, experiencing worthlessness and guilt, and have a lack of interest in everyday activities you once enjoyed? NIH studies are investigating the brain and experimental medications (such as ketamine and diazoxide) to rapidly reduce depressive symptoms. 
Research includes: depressed adults ages 18 to 70, outpatient visits or inpatient stays of up to 12 weeks at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD.  Call 1-877-MIND-NIH, TTY:

Finding Causes and Treating Depression in Teenagers
Join a research study seeking to find causes and treatments of depression in teenagers. The study is recruiting participants ages 11-17 who are depressed and have a pediatrician or medical provider. The study begins with an outpatient evaluation (clinical assessment, interviews, and questionnaires). Outpatient study visits include a clinical assessment, research tasks, and brain imaging, up to age 25. Eligible participants may receive treatment of evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy and, if indicated, standard medicines. Enrollment is from across the United States. Transportation expenses to NIH in Bethesda, MD, are reimbursed. There is no cost to participate; compensation is provided. Call 1-301-827-1350, TTY: 1-866-411-1010, or email

A Study of Brain Function and Symptoms in Children with Severe Mood Dysregulation
Using specialized testing and brain imaging, researchers are learning about the symptoms of severe mood dysregulation and how they change as children grow up. Participants (ages 7-17) have symptoms of chronic anger, sadness, or irritability as well as hyperarousal (such as insomnia, distractibility, hyperactivity) and extreme responses to frustration (such as frequent, severe temper tantrums). Participants must currently be in treatment with a physician, medically healthy, and not currently hospitalized, psychotic, or suicidal. This is an outpatient descriptive study that follows patients up to age 25, using brain imaging and clinical assessment. All clinical evaluations, research procedures, and treatment are free of cost. Both parent and child must agree to the child’s participation. Children and parents are compensated for participation. Travel and lodging expenses are paid by NIMH. Participants from across the country may be eligible to participate. Call for more information: 1-301-496-8381, TTY: 1-866-411-1010, or email:

Schizophrenia and Brain Processes
(Inpatient: 6 months) This study examines the way the brain works in individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder to better understand the underlying biology of the illness and the brain processes that cause severe psychiatric symptoms. Medical and psychiatric tests are done first to make sure participants are suitable for the research while standard psychiatric care is given. The second part of the study is off medications, with close monitoring and support, for up to five weeks while brain imaging tests are done. Research is stopped if a participant becomes too sick to continue. After the research is completed, the participant is treated with standard psychiatric treatments. Eligible participants must have no current alcohol or drug abuse. Recruiting ages 18 years or older. To find out if you qualify, email, or call 1-301-435-8970, 1-888-674-6464, TTY: 1-866-411-1010.

About the Program

The Outreach Partnership Program, an NIMH nationwide initiative, works to increase the public’s access to science-based mental health information through partnerships with national and state organizations. The program supports 55 Outreach Partners representing all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In addition, over 75 non-profit organizations participate in the program as 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 and National Partners are disseminating NIMH research across the country. If you have feedback about the newsletter, please contact