Read the Latest Outreach Connection from NIMH: Fall 2018

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



NIMH Director Joshua Gordon

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

Our country is currently in the middle of an opioid crisis, with an average of 115 people dying every day from an opioid overdose. While the opioid epidemic has been widely covered in the news, something that has been less publicized is the role that mental illnesses play in this public health crisis.

Adults with mental illnesses receive more than half of all opioid prescriptions dispensed each year in the U.S. and a 2016 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report revealed that 1 in 10 adults with a mental disorder had misused opioids in the past year. Individuals with mental illnesses’ use and misuse of opioids is particularly concerning as research suggests that people who regularly use opioids are about 75 percent more likely to make suicide plans and are twice as likely to attempt suicide as people who did not report any opioid use.

Although these statistics are troubling, research is helping advance the fight to prevent and better diagnose and treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Earlier this year, NIH launched the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions for countering the pain and opioid crisis in this country. The HEAL InitiativeSM seeks to support research across NIH to help prevent addiction through enhanced pain management and improve treatments for OUD and addiction.

The NIMH is actively working to support this effort. In partnership with other NIH institutes, the NIMH will support research testing the use of collaborative care models to treat individuals with OUD and co-occurring mental disorders in primary care settings (where many of these individuals already seek care). Related NIMH-funded research, under the Zero Suicide initiative, is examining how changes in opioid prescribing practices are impacting suicide in a large, nationwide network of healthcare systems. I look forward to sharing more details over the course of the next year as NIMH and NIH efforts to address the opioid crisis progress. In the meantime, thank you for your continued efforts to share NIMH research and resources with those who can most benefit from them.


Getting Out the Research

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

NAMI Alabama featured NIMH Science News on age-related racial disparities in adolescent suicide rates in its newsletter.

NAMI Alabama Newsletter
NIMH Borderline Personality Disorder brochure

Mental Health Colorado tweeted about NIMH’s borderline personality disorder (BPD) brochure in May during BPD Awareness Month.

During a recent state legislative session, NAMI New Hampshire incorporated NIMH information in its testimony for separate bills on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders.

NAMI Ohio Concrete Truck

NAMI Ohio has a promotional concrete truck staff are taking to construction sites throughout the state to educate workers about mental health and provide them with NIMH brochures.

MHA OK Exhibit at Severe Weather Expo

At the Severe Weather Awareness Expo, Mental Health Association Oklahoma (MHA OK) disseminated the NIMH publication series, Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters, to educate adults about ways to ease children’s fears during major weather events.

On its Facebook page, NAMI St. Louis highlighted NIMH Science News on a shorter term treatment option for post-traumatic stress disorder.

NAMI St Louis FB Post

Vibrant Emotional Health, the New York City Outreach Partner, re-tweeted statistics from the NIMH website during NIMH’s “Twitter Takeover” of the NIH's This is NIH Twitter campaign.

Vibrant Emotional Health Tweet

NAMI North Carolina tweeted about a 60 Minutes interview with Sarah Lisanby, M.D., Director of the Division of Translational Research, on use of ECT for treatment-resistant depression.

NAMI North Carolina Tweet

NAMI Virginia shared the NIMH infographic, 5 Actions Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain, on its Youth Move Facebook page

NAMI VA Youth Move Facebook post

Addressing Disparities

Outreach Partners are using NIMH materials and research in their efforts to address the needs of populations that experience mental health disparities.

NAMI Indiana flyer

NAMI Indiana (NAMI IN) distributed NIMH materials at an educational event it hosted with a local Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority chapter for African-American youth and their families.

Mental Health America of Montana used NIMH information for a half-day presentation to a regional health foundation and Tribal health leaders about co-occurring mental and substance use disorders and co-morbid physical health conditions as they work to integrate behavioral health into primary care settings.

NAMI Oregon re-tweeted the NIMH Director’s Tweet about his Director’s Message during National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

NIMH Spanish Language Publication Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters

The University of Puerto Rico Institute for Psychological Research disseminated NIMH information during its outreach to communities in need following hurricanes Maria and Irma.

NAMI Utah posted information on Facebook about three NIMH-funded research hubs aimed at understanding and reducing suicide among Native American and Alaska Native youth.

NAMI UT Facebook Post
NAMI Washington Exhibit at PrideFest Seattle

NAMI Washington distributed NIMH brochures at PrideFest Seattle, an annual festival attended by over 200,000 people and held over Pride Weekend.

First Episode Psychosis (FEP) Outreach

Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) programs for FEP are gaining momentum around the country. Thanks to the efforts of NIMH Outreach and National Partners, communities continue to learn about FEP programs and NIMH Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) findings.

NAMI Michigan CSC Presentation Slide

NAMI Michigan hosted a presentation about the NAVIGATE CSC program at the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards conference to help mental health agencies expand the availability of early intervention services in Michigan.

During Mental Health Month, a NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania blog post featured a Q&A about FEP with a local CSC clinic.

NAMI National continues to spread the word about CSC. This recent blog post highlights the RAISE webpages on the NIMH website.

Greg Hansch, L.M.S.W., Public Policy Director, NAMI Texas and David Spradley, R.N., a NAMI IN board member, participated in a panel session on CSC at the 2018 NAMI National Convention. NAMI National and NAMI IN live tweeted from the presentation, sharing highlights about CSC programs in IN and findings from RAISE.

NAMI National Tweet about RAISE

Promoting Research Opportunities

Outreach Partners are spreading the word in their communities about NIMH-funded clinical trials actively recruiting participants. 

NIH All of Us Research  Program

The NIH All of Us Research Program had its public debut in May 2018. From coast to coast, Outreach Partners broadcasted news of the launch and opportunity to join the program.

In its Advocate newsletter, NAMI Minnesota featured an overview of the NIMH-funded Rapidly Acting Treatments for Treatment Resistant Depression study. The investigators are collaborating with NIMH Intramural Research Program (IRP) scientists who have pioneered research on fast-acting antidepressants.

Educating the Public about Research

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

University of Arizona Flyer

The Arizona State University Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy printed NIMH clinical trials information on the back of a flyer for its public screening of the documentary film, Hooked Rx: From Prescription to Addiction about the opioid crisis.

In a presentation to veterans at a local Veterans Administration hospital, Mental Health Association of South Mississippi highlighted NIMH and the importance of research.

Taking Research to the Community

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

Thank you to the many partners who promoted the NIMH IRP Emotion and Development Branch webinars, Coping Strategies for Anxious Kids, What Parents Need to Know, featuring NIMH scientist, Erin Berman, Ph.D., and Are You Concerned About Your Child’s Irritability? with NIMH researcher, Melissa Brotman, Ph.D.

SSG Meeting Flyer

Southern California Outreach Partner Special Service for Groups and the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute sponsored a community talk about the NIMH-funded Community Partners in Care study presented by Kenneth Wells, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of California Los Angeles. A simultaneous interpretation in Spanish was available.

Katharina Kircanski, Ph.D., from the NIMH IRP Emotion and Development Branch, gave a presentation about childhood irritability and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder at the NAMI Maryland annual conference.

NIMH scientist Bruce Luber, M.D., from the NIMH IRP Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch, presented about IRP research to address treatment-resistant depression at the 2018 NAMI New York State Education Conference

MHA OK featured an interview with NIMH grantee Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California San Francisco, in its podcast, The Mental Health Download.

MHA OK Podcast
Wisconsin Family Ties Presentation by Tina Goldstein

Wisconsin Family Ties invited NIMH grantee Tina Goldstein, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, to present at its recent Children Come First Conference after hearing her research on the use of dialectical behavior therapy for adolescent suicide prevention at the 2017 OPP annual meeting.

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

Fall 2018

Welcome New Outreach Partners

In 2018, NIMH welcomed nine organizations to the Outreach Partnership Program, including:

NAMI Greater Corpus Christi in partnership with NAMI Texas (serving the South and West regions of Texas)

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania

NAMI North Carolina

NAMI St. Louis

NAMI Texas (serving the East, North, and Central regions of Texas)

NAMI Vermont

NAMI Washington

Parent Support Network of Rhode Island

Santee Sioux Nation (Nebraska)

New NIMH Brochure: Children and Mental Health

NIMH Children and Mental Health brochure

It can be hard to tell the difference between challenging behaviors and emotions that are consistent with typical child development and those that are cause for concern. Learn about symptoms, treatment options, and resources to help your child in this new brochure, Children and Mental Health: Is This Just a Stage?

New NIMH Infographic: Five Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain

NIMH Infographic: 5 Action Steps image

Use this new infographic to support suicide prevention efforts. Share these five actions steps for helping someone in emotional pain.

Upcoming Observances and Resources

NIMH Facebook LIve Image

Thank you to all the Partners that promoted the NIMH Facebook Live event held in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week and the Twitter Chat on National Depression Screening Day.

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

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
January 22-27, 2019
Check out resources available to educate communities and teens about addiction and alcohol abuse from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

American Heart Month
February 2019
Consider using the NIMH publication, Chronic Illness and Mental Health.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
February 25-March 3, 2019
Check out the NIMH publication, Eating Disorders: About More Than Food. Follow NIMH social media for graphics to share for the week.

Brain Awareness Week
March 11-17, 2019
Use an NIMH fact sheet to educate teens about the developing brain. Also, check out the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke resources, Know Your BrainGenes at Work in the Brain, and the National Institute on Aging Brain Health as You Age toolkit.

National Autism Awareness Month April 2019
Take a look at the NIMH autism brochure.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April 2019
Consider using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 
Administration for Children and Families resources on preventing childhood maltreatment. 

Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month
May 2019
Check out NIMH’s webpage and brochure on BPD.

Mental Health Month
May 2019
Look for NIMH materials and resources for your Mental Health Month activities! 

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
May 9, 2019
Find NIMH brochures and videos about mental illnesses in children and adolescents. Plan to follow NIMH social media to learn about NIMH live events for this week.

National Partner Activities

The Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America presented Robert Heinssen, Ph.D., Director of the NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research with its Valiant Researcher Award during its Tenth Anniversary Celebration at its annual conference. Meeting participants learned about FEP, CSC, and the RAISE study during a presentation by Dr. Heinssen.

In observance of Stress Awareness Month in April, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America promoted a number of tools and resources, including the NIMH fact sheet, 5 Things You Should Know About Stress in its Triumph e-newsletter.

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and American Psychiatric Association published articles in their e-newsletters about findings from an NIMH-funded study about a new form of parent-child therapy for young children diagnosed with depression.

Depression Study Seeking Participants

The NIMH Intramural Research Program in Bethesda, MD is seeking participants for a study on adolescent depression in teenagers.

NIMH has several resources available to help spread the word about this study. Check out this video on YouTube video.

NIMH Teen Depression Study Video

A study flyer and social media messages also are available upon request. Send an email to to request these resources.

Concerned that your teenager has depression?

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 (CBT), 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 

Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, Protocol Number: 18-M-0037  

Inside NIMH

Inside NIMH image

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

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