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Encyclopedia > National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Mental Health

National Institute of Mental Health Logo Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Authorized: 1946
Established: April 14, 1949
Director: Thomas R. Insel
Deputy Director: Richard K. Nakamura
Budget: $1.4 Billion (2005)
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The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the federal government of the United States and the largest research organization in the world specializing in mental illness. It is one of the 27 component organizations of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is in turn part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was formally established in 1949 and research is conducted at a central campus in Bethesda, Maryland, as well as being funded throughout the United States. The stated mission of NIMH is to reduce the burden of mental illness and behavioral disorders through ('biomedical') research on mind, brain and behavior. NIMH is particularly known for studies of genetics, neuroscience and clinical trials of psychiatric medication. A mental illness or mental disorder refers to one of many mental health conditions characterized by distress, impaired cognitive functioning, atypical behavior, emotional dysregulation, and/or maladaptive behavior. ... National Institutes of Health Building 50 at NIH Clinical Center - Building 10 The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical research. ... The United States Department of Health and Human Services, often abbreviated HHS, is a Cabinet department of the United States government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. ... Bethesda is an urbanized, but unincorporated, area in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a church located there, the Bethesda Presbyterian Church, built in 1820 and rebuilt in 1850, which in turn took its name from Jerusalems Pool of Bethesda. ... Look up mission statement in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up burden in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A mental illness or mental disorder refers to one of many mental health conditions characterized by distress, impaired cognitive functioning, atypical behavior, emotional dysregulation, and/or maladaptive behavior. ... For other uses, see Mind (disambiguation). ... The human brain In animals, the brain (enkephalos) (Greek for in the skull), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behavior. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the general scientific term. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ... In medicine, a clinical trial (synonyms: clinical studies, research protocols, medical research) is a research study. ... Psychopharmacology is the study of the effects of any psychoactive drug that acts upon the mind by affecting brain chemistry. ...

Contents

History of NIMH

Mental health had traditionally been a state responsibility, but after World War II there was increasing lobbying for a federal (national) initiative. Attempts to create a National Neuropsychiatric Institute failed. Robert H. Felix, then head of the Division of Mental Hygiene, orchestrated a movement to include mental health policy as an integral part of federal biomedical policy. Congressional subcommittees were held and the National Mental Health Act was signed into law in 1946. This aimed to support the research, prevention and treatment of psychiatric illness, and called for the establishment of a National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) and a National Institute of Mental Health. On April 15 1949, the NIMH was formally established, with Felix as director. Funding for the NIMH grew slowly and then, from the mid-1950s, dramatically. The institute took on a highly influential role in shaping policy, research and communicating with the public, legitimizing the importance of new advances in biomedical science, psychiatric and psychological services, and community-based mental health policies.[1] This article describes the government of the United States. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1955 The Mental Health Study Act called for "an objective, thorough, nationwide analysis and reevaluation of the human and economic problems of mental health." The resulting Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health prepared a report, "Action for Mental Health", resulting in the establishment of a cabinet-level interagency committee to examine the recommendations and determine an appropriate federal response. Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ...


In 1963, Congress passed the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act, beginning a new era in Federal support for mental health services. NIMH assumed responsibility for monitoring the Nation's community mental health centers (CMHC) programs. For other uses, see 1963 (disambiguation). ...


During the mid-1960s, NIMH launched a campaign on special mental health problems. Part of this was a response to President Lyndon Johnson's pledge to apply scientific research to social problems. The Institute established centers for research on schizophrenia, child and family mental health, suicide, as well as crime and delinquency, minority group mental health problems, urban problems, and later, rape, aging, and technical assistance to victims of natural disasters. Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908–January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician. ...


Alcohol abuse and alcoholism did not receive full recognition as a major public health problem until the mid-1960s, when the National Center for Prevention and Control of Alcoholism was established as part of NIMH; a research program on drug abuse was inaugurated within NIMH with the establishment of the Center for Studies of Narcotic and Drug Abuse.


In 1967, NIMH separated from NIH and was given Bureau status within PHS. However, NIMH's intramural research program, which conducted studies in the NIH Clinical Center and other NIH facilities, remained at NIH under an agreement for joint administration between NIH and NIMH. DHEW Secretary John W. Gardner transferred St. Elizabeth's Hospital, the Federal Government's only civilian psychiatric hospital, to NIMH. Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is the uniformed division of the United States Public Health Service (PHS) and one of the seven Uniformed Services of the United States. ... John William Gardner, (b. ... St. ...


In 1968, NIMH became a component of PHS's Health Services and Mental Health Administration (HSMHA). Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is the uniformed division of the United States Public Health Service (PHS) and one of the seven Uniformed Services of the United States. ...


In 1970 the Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Act (P.L. 91-616) established the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism within NIMH. Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1972, The Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act established a National Institute on Drug Abuse within NIMH. Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1973, NIMH went through a series of organizational moves. The Institute temporarily rejoined NIH on July 1 with the abolishment of HSMHA. Then, the DHEW secretary administratively established the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) – composed of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and NIMH – as the successor organization to HSMHA. ADAMHA was officially established in 1974. For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ...


The President's Commission on Mental Health in 1977 reviewed the mental health needs of the nation and to make recommendations to the President as to how best meet these needs in 1978. Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ...


In 1980 The Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study, an unprecedented research effort that entailed interviews with a nationally representative sample of 20,000 Americans was launched. The field interviews and first wave analyses were completed in 1985. Data from the ECA provided a picture of rates of mental and addictive disorders and services usage. Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... This article is about the year. ...


The Mental Health Systems Act – based on recommendations of the President's Commission on Mental Health and designed to provide improved services for persons with mental disorders – was passed. NIMH participated in development of the National Plan for the Chronically Mentally Ill, a sweeping effort to improve services and fine-tune various Federal entitlement programs for those with severe, persistent mental disorders.


In 1987, Administrative control of St. Elizabeth's Hospital is transferred from the NIMH to the District of Columbia. NIMH retained research facilities on the grounds of the hospital. The NIMH Neuroscience Center and the NIMH Neuropsychiatric Research Hospital, located on the grounds of St. Elizabeth's Hospital, were dedicated in 1989. Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ...


In 1992, Congress passed the ADAMHA Reorganization Act, abolishing ADAMHA. The research components of NIAAA, NIDA and NIMH rejoined NIH, while the services components of each institute became part of a new PHS agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The return to NIH and the loss of services functions to SAMHSA necessitated a realignment of the NIMH extramural program administrative organization. New offices were created for research on Prevention, Special Populations, Rural Mental Health and AIDS. Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ...


In 1993, NIMH established the Silvio O. Conte Centers program to provide a unifying research framework for collaborations to pursue newly formed hypotheses of brain-behavior relationships in mental illness through innovative research designs and state-of-the-art technologies. Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ...


NIMH established the Human Brain Project to develop, through cutting-edge imaging, computer, and network technologies, a comprehensive neuroscience database accessible via an international computer network.


In 1994 The House Appropriations Committee mandated that the director of NIH conduct a review of the role, size, and cost of all NIH intramural research programs (IRP). NIMH and the NAMHC -- National Ambulance for Mental Health Copyrighters -- initiated a major study of the NIMH Intramural Research Program. The planning committee recommended continued investment in the IRP and recommended specific administrative changes; many of these were implemented upon release of the committee's final report; other changes – for example, the establishment of a major new program on Mood and Anxiety Disorders – have been introduced in the years since. Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ...


In 1996 NIMH, with the NAMHC, initiated systematic reviews of a number of areas of its research portfolio, including the genetics of mental disorders; epidemiology and services for child and adolescent populations; prevention research; clinical treatment and services research. At the request of the National Institute for Mental Health director, the NAMH Council established programmatic groups in each of these areas. NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) continued to implement recommendations issued by these Workgroups. Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ...


Childhood Mental Disorders Research Prioritization – NIMH increased the priority placed on research on childhood mental disorders and clinical neuroscience and initiated efforts to expand research in these areas.


Implementation of Human Subjects Protection in Clinical Research - The National Institute for Mental Health expanded its efforts to safeguard and improve the protections of human subjects who participate in clinical mental health research.


In 1996, NIMH initiated planning for integration of the Institute's peer review system for neuroscience, behavioral and social science and AIDS research applications into the overall NIH peer review system. Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ...


In 1997, NIMH realigned its extramural organizational structure to capitalize on new technologies and approaches to both basic and clinical science, as well as changes that had occurred in health care delivery systems, while retaining the Institute's focus on mental illness. The new extramural organization resulted in three research divisions: Basic and Clinical Neuroscience Research; Services and Intervention Research; and Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS. For the band, see 1997 (band). ...


Between 1997 and 1999 NIMH refocused career development resources on early careers and added new mechanisms for clinical research.


In 1999 The NIMH Neuroscience Center/Neuropsychiatric Research Hospital was relocated from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. to the NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD, in response to the recommendations of the 1996 review of the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) Intramural Research Program by the IRP Planning Committee. This article is about the year. ... St. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... Bethesda is an urbanized, but unincorporated area in Montgomery County, Maryland, near Washington, DC. It takes its name from a church once located there, the Bethesda Presbyterian Church (built 1820), which in turn was named from a passage in the Christian New Testament. ...


The first White House Conference on Mental Health, held June 7, in Washington, DC, brought together national leaders, mental health scientific and clinical personnel, patients, and consumers to discuss needs and opportunities. The National Institute on Mental Health developed materials and helped organize the conference. Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United...


U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher released The Surgeon General's Call To Action To Prevent Suicide, in July, and the first Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health, in December. NIMH, along with other Federal agencies, collaborated in the preparation of both of these landmark reports. US Public Health Service US Public Health Service Collar Device US Public Health Service Cap Device The Surgeon General of the United States is the head of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the U.S... David Satcher David Satcher (b. ...


In the late 1990s, NIMH instituted a variety of approaches relating to increasing public participation in its priority setting and strategic planning processes.


NIMH expanded and revitalized its public education and prevention information dissemination programs.


NIMH included members of the public on its scientific review committees reviewing grant applications in the clinical and services research areas.


NIMH launched a 5-year communications initiative in March 2000 called the Constituency Outreach and Education Program, enlisting nationwide partnerships with state organizations to disseminate science-based mental health information to the public and health professionals, and increase access to effective treatments.


NIMH organized the "14th International Conference on Challenges for the 21st Century: Mental Health Services Research," held in Washington, D.C., July 2000,to address how to meet mental health service needs nationwide most effectively, reduce health disparities, and provide equitable treatments in an era of managed care. For the capital city of the United States, see Washington, D.C.. For other uses, see Washington (disambiguation). ...


NIMH launched several long-term, large-scale, multi-site, community based clinical studies to determine the effectiveness of treatment for bipolar disorder (also called manic-depressive illness); depression in adolescents; antipsychotic medications in the treatment of schizophrenia, and management of psychotic symptoms and behavioral problems associated with Alzheimer's disease; and subsequent treatment alternatives to relieve depression.


The Surgeon General released a Report on Children's Mental Health indicating that the nation is facing a public crisis in the mental health of children and adolescents. The National Action Agenda outlines goals and strategies to improve services for children and adolescents with mental and emotional disorders. NIMH along with other Federal agencies collaborated in the preparation of this report.


Researchers associated with NIMH

In 1970, Dr. Julius Axelrod, a NIMH researcher, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research into the chemistry of nerve transmission for "discoveries concerning the humoral transmitters in the nerve terminals and the mechanisms for their storage, release and inactivation." He found an enzyme that terminated the action of the nerve transmitter, noradrenaline in the synapse and which also served as a critical target of many antidepressant drugs. Julius Axelrod won a Nobel Prize in 1970 Julius Axelrod (May 30, 1912 – December 29, 2004) was an influential American biochemist. ... The Nobel Prize (Swedish: ), as designated in Alfred Nobels will in 1895, is awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. ...


Dr. Louis Sokoloff, a NIMH researcher, received the Albert Lasker Award in Clinical Medical Research for developing a new method of measuring brain function that contributed to basic understanding and diagnosis of brain diseases. Dr. Roger Sperry, a longtime NIMH research grantee, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for discoveries regarding the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres, or the "left" and "right" brain. ... The Nobel Prize (Swedish: ), as designated in Alfred Nobels will in 1895, is awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. ...


In 1983, NIMH-funded investigator Fernando Nottebohm discovered the formation of new neurons in brains of adult song-birds; this evidence of "neurogenesis" opened a clinically promising new line of research in brain science. Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ...


Dr. Eric Kandel and Dr. Paul Greengard, each of whom have received NIMH support for more than three decades, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sweden's Dr. Arvid Carlsson. Dr. Kandel received the prize for his elucidating research on the functional modification of synapses in the brain. Initially using the sea slug as an experimental model but later working with mice, he established that the formation of memories is a consequence of short and long-term changes in the biochemistry of nerve cells. Dr. Greengard was recognized for his discovery that dopamine and a number of other transmitters can alter the functional state of neuronal proteins, and also that such changes could be reversed by subsequent environmental signals. Eric Richard Kandel (born November 7, 1929) is a neuroscientist who won a Nobel Prize in the year 2000 for his research on the physiological basis of memory storage in neurons. ... Paul Greengard (b. ... The Nobel Prize (Swedish: ), as designated in Alfred Nobels will in 1895, is awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. ... Arvid Carlsson (b. ...


Nancy Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist and long-time NIMH grantee, wins National Medal of Science for her groundbreaking work in schizophrenia and for joining behavioral science with neuroscience and neuroimaging. The Presidential Award is one of the nation's highest awards in science. Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph. ...


NIMH Directors

Name From To
Robert H. Felix 1949 1964
Stanley F. Yolles 1964 1970
Bertram S. Brown 1970 1977
Herbert Pardes 1977 1984
Shervert H. Frazier 1984 1986
Lewis L. Judd 1988 1992
Frederick K. Goodwin 1992 1994
Rex William Cowdry (Acting) 1994 1996
Steven E. Hyman 1996 2001
Richard K. Nakamura (Acting) 2001 2002
Thomas R. Insel 2002 Present

References

  1. ^ Grob, GN. (1996) Creation of the National Institute of Mental Health. Public Health Reports. 1996 Jul–Aug; 111(4): 378–381.

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