Read the Latest Outreach Connection Newsletter: 2019 Meeting Issue

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NIMH Director Joshua Gordon

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


It was great to see you at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program this past summer. I appreciated the opportunity to present information about NIMH research priorities and advances with you. I want to thank you for the role you are playing in disseminating mental health research.

We look forward to your continued input as we explore and develop new ways to support you and our other stakeholders across the country in your outreach efforts. Together, we can work towards our common goal of increasing awareness about mental health and the role that research plays in reducing the burden of mental illnesses.

I value your thoughtful dialogue and input, which will be tremendously helpful as we work to broaden the reach of our outreach efforts. As you heard at the meeting, we recently launched NIMH Education and Awareness, a portal on the NIMH website with tools and resources designed for and dedicated to outreach. Since the meeting, we have also launched our Discover NIMH newsletter, which showcases shareable materials, outreach events, and the latest mental health research. I encourage you to subscribe to stay up to date on new resources as they become available.

In this issue of Outreach Connection, we’ve described the meeting highlights, partner activities, and plenary sessions. We’ve also shared information about the first phase of our new comprehensive outreach effort. I hope you find the information helpful; please see the Meeting Summary for additional details.

Thank you again for your efforts to disseminate important mental health research in your communities.


Partners, NIMH Leadership Meet for Research Updates and Discussion

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

Image of partners gathered during 2019 meeting

On July 31 and August 1, 2019, NIMH convened the annual meeting of the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program. The gathering provided an opportunity for the program’s Outreach Partners, representing every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and National Partners to hear updates from NIMH leadership, learn about NIMH-supported research, and discuss the mental health needs of their constituents with NIMH staff and their fellow Partners.

Outreach and National Partners, as well as Federal agencies, shared examples of how they are disseminating NIMH-funded research and educating the public, individuals with mental illnesses, families, and other stakeholders about mental health.

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Update from the NIMH Director

NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., opened the meeting with an update about NIMH activities, including plans for the updated Strategic Plan for Research, which will be available online in 2020.

Dr. Gordon provides the director's update

Dr. Gordon highlighted the ongoing activities of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and reviewed NIMH research in areas such as suicide prevention, antidepressant medication development, and learning networks for early psychosis treatment.

He also updated attendees on NIH research initiatives, including The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative; the Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM; the HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study; and the All of Us Research Program.

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Dialogue with the NIMH Director and an Overview of NIMH Outreach Resources

During the meeting, Dr. Gordon engaged in a dialogue with Outreach and National Partners about NIMH’s new comprehensive outreach effort to increase the public’s access to science-based mental health information.

Natalie Zeigler, M.S., Chief of the Science Writing, Press, and Dissemination Branch within the NIMH Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications, discussed some of the new outreach efforts already underway and provided an overview of NIMH resources and patient education materials that are available to partners and stakeholders.

Ms. Zeigler highlighted the following:

In addition, she noted partners can subscribe to numerous other newsletters from NIMH and other Federal agencies to keep current on research and news in the mental health field:

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

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Improving Public Health Through Research

Major portions of the meeting focused on learning about research findings that could potentially have a significant public health impact.

Postpartum Depression Prevention and Care Research

Research Response to the Opioid Public Health Crisis

Community-Based Models to Support Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses

  • Michael Compton, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Medical Director for Adult Services at the New York State Office of Mental Health, described the Opening Doors to Recovery study, which has reduced hospitalizations and improved quality of life among individuals with psychotic or mood disorders and a history of hospital recidivism.
  • Amy Watson, Ph.D., Professor at Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, discussed her NIMH-funded studies on police response to individuals with serious mental illnesses.

Suicide Prevention Research

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Thank you to all the Partners for making the meeting a success! Let us know what types of resources or topics would better help you connect with and educate your community. Email your suggestions to

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2019 Meeting Issue

Outreach Partner Activities

Outreach Partners presented posters about their ongoing mental health education efforts. More than 55 partners shared and discussed ongoing activities to promote mental health and research in diverse communities across the country. 

Partners presenting about mental health education efforts

Partners presented their organization’s mental health education efforts.

MHA Georgia describes its Outreach Wellness Learning seminars

MHA Georgia described its Outreach Wellness Learning seminars to increase the community’s mental health literacy.

Nebraska Partner Santee Sioux Nation shares presentation

Nebraska Partner Santee Sioux Nation shared a presentation to help organizations adapt models and best practices in counseling Native American clients.

NAMI CT describes NAMI Homefront program

NAMI Connecticut described its NAMI Homefront program for military members and their families.

Nevada PEP highlights use of NIMH resources

Nevada PEP highlighted where and how it has made using NIMH resources part of its ongoing engagement with families, health professionals, and other community stakeholders.

Southern California Special Service for Groups features work to reach Filipino community

Southern California partner Special Service for Groups (SSG) featured its work with mental health provider SSG Alliance to reach the Filipino community.

National Partner Activities

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

ASPIRE discusses its work

ASPIRE discussed its work to become a collective source of scientifically-grounded information, advocacy best practices, and family support for the PANS, PANDAS, and immune-related encephalopathies community.

SARDAA showcases Hearing Voices of Support art installation

SARDAA showcased its Hearing Voices of Support interactive art installation that was held in New York City during Schizophrenia Awareness Week.

Additional National Partner organizations also participated in the meeting:

Federal Participation

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

Brother, You're on My Mind Campaign

Brother, You're on My Mind Campaign

NIMH IRP Marketing and Community Relations Unit

NIMH IRP Marketing and Community Relations Unit

Extending the Reach

During the meeting, many Partners shared highlights with constituents on Twitter and other social media channels.

NAMI Oregon tweet

NAMI Oregon tweeted about Dr. Gordon's research update on postpartum depression.

MHA of MT tweet

MHA Montana tweeted from Dr. Gordon’s remarks about the understanding and treatment of early psychosis. 

NAMI South Dakota Facebook post

NAMI South Dakota posted a photo of the presentation from Marilyn Charging about the Ending the Silence program, which aims to end the silence about mental illness in middle schools and high schools.