Research is vital to advancing our understanding of, and treatments for, mental health conditions. Scientific research can (and has) lead to effective early intervention strategies; better understanding of mental illness’ environmental and social factors; and further knowledge on how other elements—like genetics, physical health and medications—can impact recovery outcomes. Because of the answers research can provide, it is the ultimate source of hope for people experiencing mental health conditions and their families. The following link offers: questions and answers for clinical trials, information on studies related to mental health, genetic mental health, and information on the protection of research volunteers.
Participating in Clinical Trials
Clinical trials help advance research and treatment for people today and in the future. In these trials, an intervention (like psychotherapy or medication) is often compared to a placebo or different intervention. Research subjects are often randomized in clinical trials, so a subject might get a new treatment or a placebo. Therefore, most research volunteers will not benefit directly from clinical trials, and are only helping advance scientific knowledge.
Protecting Research Volunteers
Because much of our field’s research takes the form of clinical trials, NAMI advocates that research involving human subjects must be in accordance with the highest scientific, medical and ethical standards. Further, these studies must protect the individuals and families who make this contribution to scientific progress.
National Institute of Mental Health
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
NAMI Maryland is in its third year of being a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Outreach Partner. NAMI Maryland joins a nationwide network of 55 mental health organizations committed to disseminating science-based information from NIMH about the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders, and educating the public about the importance of research and the opportunities to participate in studies.
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