Read the Latest Outreach Connection from NIMH: Spring 2019

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NIMH Director Joshua Gordon

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

Each year, the lives of tens of thousands of teens and young adults are interrupted by an episode of psychosis. Symptoms of psychosis include delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear). It’s typical for a young person to have subtle signs of psychosis for some time before experiencing an episode of psychosis when their symptoms intensify and begin to interfere with many aspects of their lives. Their relationships with family and friends often become strained, and it may be challenging for them to work or go to school.

Understandably, experiencing first episode psychosis can be confusing and scary for young people and their families. The sooner a young person gets treatment after the first episode of psychosis, the better their outcomes likely will be.

Over the past decade, NIMH has undertaken a number of efforts to study approaches to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis and to learn whether early, coordinated delivery of specialized treatments leads to better outcomes than care typically available in community settings. The cornerstone of those efforts is the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) research initiative, which included two studies examining different aspects of coordinated specialty care for individuals who experienced first episode psychosis. Across both studies, individuals who received coordinated specialty care stayed in treatment longer, and experienced greater improvement in their symptoms, interpersonal relationships, quality of life, and involvement in work and school compared with patients who received typical care. More recently, new RAISE findings showed that coordinated specialty care resulted in more optimal prescribing of antipsychotics and fewer side effects compared to usual care.

Since the start of the RAISE studies, hundreds of early intervention programs that use coordinated specialty care have been implemented and now operate in 49 states. As the number of early intervention programs expands, it is essential that we learn about the outcomes of delivering these services in real-world community settings. To help answer this question, NIMH is launching the Early Psychosis Intervention Network: Practice-Based Research to Improve Treatment Outcomes (EPINET) to build a “learning healthcare system” among clinical programs offering specialty care to individuals experiencing early psychosis. The participating sites will use standard clinical measures and uniform data collection and analysis methods to drive continuous improvements in patient care and accelerate real-world research into psychosis risk factors, diagnosis, service delivery, health outcomes, and more. 

As EPINET progresses, I look forward to sharing more with the community about NIMH’s continued research efforts and advances toward ensuring that young people affected by early psychosis get the evidence-based care they need.


Getting Out the Research

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

Through its Community Collaborative, a student-run, staff/faculty-supervised supportive services initiative, the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy at Arizona State University disseminates NIMH publications to seniors and individuals with disabilities who reside at the Westward Ho low-income housing facility in which the Collaborative is located.

The Institute of Rural Health at Idaho State University disseminates NIMH publications at brain injury support group meetings and traumatic brain injury screening events.

Sip of Hope Sign We are in this together

Mental Health America of Illinois partnered with a suicide prevention organization for the opening of their Sip of Hope 
Coffee Bar which donates 100 percent of its proceeds to support suicide prevention and mental health education and is staffed by baristas trained in Mental Health First Aid. NIMH publications and fact sheets were distributed at the opening event. 

KS Facebook post

Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas distributed NIMH information to fans at a Wichita Wingnuts baseball game.

NAMI PA Social Media Card

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania (PA) created a social media graphic to promote its role as the NIMH Outreach Partner for the state and share NIMH science news. The graphic allows a visually engaging way to share NIMH information on social media platforms. NAMI Keystone PA also has been using the Twitter hashtag "#Instituesday” as a way for people to easily follow its tweets of NIMH science news.

University of Puerto Rico Event

The University of Puerto Rico Institute for Psychological Research collaborated with the Teachers Association of Puerto Rico to conduct workshops for public school teachers on children’s emotional needs, during which it disseminated NIMH brochures.

DiscoverNIMH videos

Thank you to all of the partners that promoted the new Discover NIMH video series, and shared NIMH resources during Autism Awareness Month and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

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Tailoring Content

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

NAMI Minnesota advised on and participated in the premiere of the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Mental Health: Mind Matters traveling exhibit, which aims to educate the public about mental illnesses. NIMH data are included on the museum webpage and informed the development of the exhibit.

Kessler Air Force Base Video

Mental Health Association of South Mississippi included NIMH information at a training for behavioral health providers at Keesler Air Force Base. The video in this Facebook post features NIMH publications that are now being used on this 12,000-person base.

Extending the Reach

Partners are bringing information from the Program’s Annual Meeting back to their communities.

Mental Health America of Montana (MHA MT) presented research about the Links to Learning service model, which has been shown to increase mental health service use when implemented in low-resource school settings, at state legislative committee hearings. The data shared by MHA MT came from the 2018 OPP annual meeting presentation by NIMH grantee Marc Atkins, Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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 IN Conference Tweet

The keynote address at NAMI Indiana’s 2018 statewide conference focused on implementation of the CSC model by an Indianapolis-based community mental health center.

Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH) provided the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation Behavioral Health Advisory Group with NIMH research findings to document the need to fund FEP evidence-based practices. MAMH also discussed FEP research with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Deputy Commissioner.

NAMI NH Facebook post about FEP

NAMI New Hampshire promoted New Hampshire FEP programs at the New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center FEP conference.

NAMI Texas advocated for an increase in early psychosis programs in Texas and promoted RAISE and CSC through interviews and letters to the editors with news media across the state.

TribTalk Banner

Addressing Disparities

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

SSG Facebook post about NIMH Webinar

Southern California Outreach Partner Special Service for Groups posted on Facebook to promote NIMH’s webinar, Using Simulation to Evaluate Social Determinants of Health in People with Mental Illness: Potential Use of Findings in Discussions with Policymakers, Community Groups, Consumers, and Advocates.


NAMI Connecticut disseminated NIMH information and publications during a training on African Americans and mental health with Resident Service Coordinators who manage public housing sites. 

The Mental Health Association in Delaware distributed NIMH publications at its Military and Veterans Mental Health Summit.

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Promoting Research Opportunities

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

NAMI Maryland disseminated study information from the NIMH Intramural Research Program (IRP) at its annual conference, NAMIWalk, and trainings around Maryland.

NAMI NC Homepage

NAMI North Carolina added a featured image to its website homepage highlighting its partnership with NIMH and providing information about how to find studies in North Carolina.

Federation of Famlies of South Carolina Flyer

The Federation of Families of South Carolina distributed a promotional flyer about the NIMH IRP teen depression study to 30 newspapers across the state. A flyer with tear offs about the study was placed in office buildings, doctors’ offices, beauty salons, and barber shops.

Educating the Public about Research

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

ASU Clinical Trials Webpage  

The Arizona State University Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy created a webpage devoted to educating the public about clinical trials.

MHA GA Tweet about NIMH IRP Study

Mental Health America of Georgia tweeted about the NIMH IRP Depression, TMS, Psychotherapy and Brain Function study and posted the YouTube video archive of the NIMH webinar about the study with NIMH IRP researcher Bruce Luber, Ph.D.

NAMI Ohio Facebook post about clinical trial participation

NAMI Ohio promoted NIMH’s Clinical Research Trials and You fact sheet on Facebook.

NAMI Utah gave a presentation titled, What's New in Your Brain in 2018? at its annual state conference to share NIMH research updates with attendees. NIMH IRP study flyers and other NIMH clinical trials materials were included in the conference packets and at the information table. 

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Taking Research to the Community

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

MHA OK Gazzaley

Mental Health Association Oklahoma posted on Facebook about a presentation by Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D. at its 2018 Zarrow Symposium. Dr. Gazzaley is an NIMH grantee from the University of California San Francisco.

NAMI Utah PPT Title Slide

NAMI Utah invited NIMH grantee Scott Langenecker, Ph.D. from the University of Utah to present at its state conference about brain research and personalized medicine for depression.

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

Spring 2019

New NIMH Brochure: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Disasters and Other Traumatic Events

Helping Children Cope with Disasters

This new NIMH brochure describes common reactions to trauma and what parents, rescue workers, and the community can do to help children and adolescents cope with disasters and other traumatic events.

Recently Revised NIMH Brochures

Autism Spectrum Disorder Brochure

These NIMH brochures are newly revised and available online:

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

New Spanish Translations

NIMH Teen Depression Brochure in Spanish

These NIMH publications are now available online in Spanish:

Borderline Personality Disorder

Children and Mental Health

Teen Depression


NIMH Podcast: Autism in Adults

NIMH Podcast: Autism in Adults Podcast

NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., interviews NIMH's Ann Wagner, Ph.D., National Autism Coordinator, and Lisa Gilotty, Ph.D., program chief of the NIMH’s Research Program on Autism Spectrum Disorders, to discuss research advances in the study of autism in adulthood.

Upcoming NIMH Facebook Live Event: Puberty and the Brain

NIMH Facebook Live Event Image

Learn how during NIMH's Facebook Live Event scheduled in recognition of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Plan to join us Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 2:00-2:30 PM ET.

NIH Hosting Nationwide Essay Contest on Mental Health

Speaking Up About Mental Health Essay Contest

Help us spread the word about the Speaking Up About Mental Health! essay contest, which invites students ages 16-18 to explore ways to address the stigma and social barriers that adolescents from racial and ethnic minority populations may face when seeking mental health treatment. Essay submissions are due May 31, 2019.

Upcoming Observances and Resources

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

Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month
May 2019
Check out NIMH's webpage and brochure on borderline personality disorder.

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

Older Americans Month
May 2019
Use NIMH’s brochure, Older Adults and Depression.

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
May 9, 2019
Find NIMH brochures and videos about mental illnesses in children and adolescents.

National Women’s Health Week
May 12-18, 2019
Share NIMH’s brochures on women’s mental health.

National Prevention Week
May 12-18, 2019
Find NIMH resources about suicide prevention.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month
June 2019
See NIMH resources about PTSD.

Men's Health Month
June 2019
Check out the Men and Depression brochure.

National Partner Activities

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) featured interviews with NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. and NIMH IRP Staff Scientist/Clinical Psychologist Lisa Horowitz, Ph.D. in its Learning More About Suicide Through Research video series. In one video, Dr. Gordon discusses NIMH’s partnership with AFSP and the future of suicide prevention research. The series also features an interview with NIMH grantee Brian Ahmedani, Ph.D. from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI. The interview highlights clinical aspects of Zero Suicide such as screening for suicide risk in health care settings.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has launched a newly-revamped section of its website devoted to research, including a dedicated Research News page. The page is populated monthly with information from the NIMH Update and resources from other sources.

The December 2018 issue of the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America newsletter features the NIMH Director’s Message, It Begins with Basic Science.

Studies Seeking Participants

NIH Clinical Center

The NIMH IRP in Bethesda, MD is seeking participants for the following trial; please help spread the word.

Depression, Repeated Doses of Ketamine, and Neuroimaging

NIMH is conducting a study evaluating rapid and sustained antidepressant effects of repeat doses of ketamine. This 14- to 20-week inpatient study is enrolling eligible depressed adults, ages 18 to 65, who are free of other serious medical conditions. The study is enrolling participants from across the U.S. Travel to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD is paid for by NIMH. There is no cost to participate in the study and compensation is provided. Individuals interested in more information can call 1-877-MIND-NIH, (1-877-646-3644), TTY: 1-866-411-1010, or send an email to Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, Protocol # 17-M-0060

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