Read the Latest NIMH Outreach Connection: 2018 Meeting Issue

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page. 



NIMH Director Joshua Gordon


It was a pleasure to see you at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program (OPP) this summer. I value the opportunity to share information about NIMH research priorities and advances, and to hear directly from you about what is going on in your communities. I also appreciate your enthusiasm, thoughtful dialogue, and input during the Outreach Visioning session. Your input will be extremely helpful as we consider ideas to widen the reach of our outreach and communications activities. Stakeholder organizations like yours play a critical role ensuring that what is learned from NIMH-supported research benefits the individuals and families who need it the most. 

Thank you again for your efforts to disseminate NIMH science to your communities! This "special issue" of Outreach Connection highlights your outreach and education efforts showcased at the meeting.

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


Partners Convene for Research Updates and Dialogue with NIMH Leadership

Representatives from Outreach and National Partner organizations gathered on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in July for the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program's 2018 Annual Meeting to hear research updates from NIMH leadership and NIMH-supported researchers.

Sharing Session Overview

Partner activities were highlighted during a Partner Sharing Session, in which over 65 Outreach and National Partners and Federal agencies shared examples of how they are disseminating NIMH-funded research and educating the public, families, and other stakeholders about mental health.

Update from NIMH Director

NIMH Director Joshua Gordon

NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., opened the meeting with an update about NIMH activities and research priorities, focusing on Institute efforts to advance research to prevent suicide. NIMH’s research efforts target identifying people at risk, developing effective interventions, and determining how to implement those interventions on a large scale. As an example of these efforts, Dr. Gordon shared results of NIMH-supported studies which have demonstrated how hospital emergency departments can play a vital role in lowering suicide attempts through universal screening and through the implementation of low-cost interventions designed for follow-up of patients identified at risk for suicide. He also described NIMH-supported efforts to develop better
algorithms to identify patients at risk for suicide by using electronic health records (EHRs).

Dr. Gordon also discussed the role of big data in mental health research and in the development of precision medicine approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. Dr. Gordon thanked the Partners for their continued support of one such big-data project—the NIH All of Us Research Program—which aims to recruit one million adult volunteers to share a variety of data, including EHRs, health and family medical histories, and biological samples to support research and uncover paths to the delivery of precision medicine.

Back to Top

Improving Access to Mental Health Services

Major portions of the meeting focused on learning about new research findings that can help improve access to mental health care. Partners heard about research-based approaches for use in a variety of settings:

  • Psychiatric Collaborative Care ModelJohn Kern, M.D., of the University of Washington (UW) described how this model, which is implemented in primary care settings, has been shown to be more effective than usual care for treating depression and anxiety. He also shared resources available at the UW Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center that can help people who want to implement the model.
  • Mobile Health and Mental Health Care: NIMH grantee Dror Ben-Zeev, Ph.D., from the UW mHealth for Mental Health Program shared examples of his research developing and testing mobile-phone-based interventions designed to improve access to care for individuals with serious mental illness. 

In a panel session on addressing mental illnesses in school settings, Partners learned about research and community approaches that can increase access to mental health services for children and adolescents:

  • Links to Learning ModelNIMH grantee Marc Atkins, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois, Chicago, highlighted positive outcomes of a randomized controlled trial implementing the model in six high poverty Chicago public elementary schools. 
  • Adolescent Depression Awareness ProgramNIMH grantee Holly C. Wilcox, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University, described this universal, school-based intervention which was found to significantly increase depression literacy and increase treatment-seeking behavior in an NIMH-funded study.  
  • School Mental Health Toolkit: Sarah Davidon, Ed.D., with Mental Health Colorado (MHC) described MHC's toolkit which provides information about best practices related to implementing, funding, and sustaining mental health services in schools.

Back to Top

Tools to Share NIMH Research

NIMH Branch Chief Natalie Ziegler

During the meeting, Natalie Zeigler, Acting Chief of the Science Writing, Press, and Dissemination Branch in the NIMH Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communication, outlined the Institute's communications activities and resources available to help Partners share information about NIMH research and mental illnesses.

Partners heard about the tools they can use to educate their constituents about mental illnesses:

Ms. Zeigler also highlighted recent changes to the NIMH website:

In addition, Ms. Zeigler encouraged Partners to subscribe to newsletters from NIMH and other Federal agencies to keep current on research and news in the mental health field:

  • Inside NIMH: highlights NIMH funding opportunities, trends, and plans; 
  • NIH Catalyst: showcases scientific research being conducted at NIH; 
  • MedlinePlus Magazine: shares breakthroughs from NIH-supported research and personal stories of handling health challenges; and,
  • SAMHSA News: summarizes the latest news from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 

Ms. Zeigler thanked the Partners for their continued support and promotion of NIMH information and called on the Partners to stay connected with NIMH through social media for the latest updates and news.

Back to Top

  Share Image

Extending the Reach

During the meeting, many Partners shared highlights with constituents back home using the #NIMHOPP2018 Twitter hashtag and other social media.

MHA Montana Tweet

During Dr. Gordon's talk, MHA Montana encouraged its constituents to learn about the NIH All of Us Research Program.


NAMI Maryland tweeted takeaways from Dr. Wilcox's presentation about the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program.

UND Center for Rural Health Tweet

The University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health highlighted the work of Dr. Ben-Zeev on mobile health applications.

Meeting Wrapup Room Overview

To close out the meeting, Partners engaged in roundtable discussions and shared highlights from the presentations they had heard, how they would disseminate to their constituents what they learned, and ways they could expand their local outreach efforts to engage with new audiences. Upon return from the meeting, Partners have been putting these ideas into action. For example, the District of Columbia Behavioral Health AssociationSantee Sioux Nation Society of Care, and MHA of Northern Kentucky and Southwest Ohio highlighted the meeting in their e-newsletters. 

Thank you to all the Partners for making the meeting a success! We look forward to continuing to hear about how you are extending the reach of the meeting.

Back to Top

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

2018 Meeting Issue

Outreach Partner Activities

Sharing Session Overview
Partners present their organization’s mental health education efforts.
NAMI Arkansas
NAMI Arkansas described its collaboration with local universities to bring depression screenings to transition-aged youth and African-American college students.
MHA Georgia
MHA of Georgia shared its new wellness program designed to educate students, parents, and educators about mental health and wellness.
The University of New Mexico Division of Community Behavioral Health shared how they are educating providers and tribal communities about suicide, substance use, and mental health.
Nevada PEP
Nevada P.E.P., Inc. highlighted its youth-led social media efforts during Mental Health Awareness Month.
MHA Middle TN
Partner learn about MHA of Middle Tennessee’s program which educates children and youth about stress, depression, and suicide.
DBSA West Virginia
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of West Virginia highlighted its efforts to support consumers affected by mood disorders.

National Partner Activities

Thank you to the National Partners who contributed to the Sharing Session at the meeting:

Linda Stalters, SARDAA

Linda Stalters, Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America


Additional National Partner organizations also participated in the meeting:

Valerie Sterns, Mental Health America
Valerie Sterns, Mental Health America
Teri Brister
Teri Brister, NAMI National

Federal Participation

Partners had the opportunity to learn about Federal initiatives of relevance to the mental health community:

NIH All of Us Research Program at Sharing Session
All of Us Research Program
NIMHD at the Sharing Session
Brother, You're on My Mind Campaign
HRSA Children'sSafety Network at Partner Sharing Session
Children's Safety Network
NIMH IRP at Sharing Session
NIMH IRP Marketing and Community Relations Unit
NICHD PregSource at Sharing Session

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