Abstract

Advancing Mental Health Research: The NIMH Perspective

Dr. Michael Sesma

Chief, Rsearch Scientist Development Program
Office for Special Populations, National Institutes of Health

Advancing Mental Health Research: The NIMH Perspective

Michael A. Sesma, Ph.D.
Chief, Research Scientist Development Program
Office for Special Populations
National Institute of Mental Health

The mission of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is to diminish the burden of mental illness and behavioral disorders through research on mind, brain, and behavior. Mental illness can be profoundly destructive and can result in immeasurable suffering to affected individuals and their loved ones. Mental disorders represent four of the ten leading causes of disability for persons age 5 and older, often occurring early in life, during childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Striking racial and ethnic disparities in the incidence, access to care and treatment magnifies the burden of mental illness in the United States. NIMH supports research in neuroscience, behavioral science, and genetics to provide an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying thought, emotion, and behavior. The same research reveals what goes wrong in the brain in mental illness and suggests possible prevention. Intervention and services research validates effective treatments for many mental disorders. An array of safe and potent medications and psychosocial interventions, typically used in combination, permit us to treat schizophrenia, manic-depressive illness, major depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental illnesses. The translation of basic knowledge into clinical research will lead to better treatments that ultimately must be effective in our complex world with its diverse populations and evolving health care systems.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Home Page: http://www.nimh.nih.gov

Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/home.html

Mental Health: Culture, Race, Ethnicity: Supplement to Mental Health: Report of the Surgeon General
http://www.mentalhealth.org/cre/sma-01-3613A.pdf

NIMH Five-Year Strategic Plan for Reducing Health Disparities, November 2001
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/strategic/healthdisparities.pdf

Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Mental Health Research Careers: An Investment in America's Future, 2001
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/council/diversity.pdf

NIMH Training Programs for Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Minorities
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/council.minority.pdf

 

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