The Massachusetts Association for Mental Health is pleased to be a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Outreach Partner. We disseminate science-based behavioral health information and are eager to grow partnerships that advance the health of individuals and families throughout our Commonwealth.

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For a full copy of the update
Depression Studies
  • The January 15 issue of NIH Research Matters highlights findings from a study, partly funded by NIMH and co-led by NIMH scientist Dr. Kathleen Merikangas, showing that sleep problems, a lack of energy, and physical inactivity may lead to a depressed mood and mood changes. The findings suggest that physical activity could be an effective target for strategies to change mood states. 
  • The latest NIH News in Health features an article about research on healthy habits that can help boost mood. It also includes a Q&A on mood and depression.
  • Nationwide Recruitment: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the rapid and sustained antidepressant effects of repeat doses of ketamine in the brain. This study, which is an inpatient study in Bethesda, MD, is enrolling eligible adults, ages 18 to 65, with major depressive disorder. To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-877-646-3644.
Women's Mental Health

  • This update from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) discusses the mental health conditions that are more common among women and how mental health conditions affect women differently. 
  • This OWH update describes the ways that stress affects women differently and steps women can take to manage stress and start to feel more in control. 
Children's Mental Health
  • Transgender youths (those whose gender identity does not align with their sex) experience disparities in violence victimization, substance use, suicide risk, and sexual risk compared with their cisgender peers (those whose gender identity does align with their sex). In 2017, 10 states and nine large urban school districts piloted a measure of transgender identity as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Compared with cisgender males and cisgender females, transgender students were more likely to report violence victimization, substance use, and suicide risk. Read more here.
  • HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration): Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program. Read more here.
Substance Use Disorders Research
  • Scientists have concluded that the risk of addiction is a complex combination of both genes and environmental influences. New study findings bring scientists closer to identifying clusters of genes that could play a part in addiction, giving the field of addiction science a solid starting point for further study. 
  • In a recent blog, National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Dr. Nora Volkow highlights scientific advances from 2018 in basic science, new therapeutics, and epidemiology and prevention research. 
  • In this analysis of patient opioid prescription data from a national electronic health record vendor during 2014–2017, CDC researchers found that the percentage of patients prescribed an opioid was higher in rural than in urban areas. Significant decreases in opioid prescribing occurred across all urban-rural categories after the March 2016 release of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
  • HRSA Director Dr. George Sigounas describes the new National Health Service Corps loan repayment program, which will provide eligible health care clinicians with student loan repayment assistance in exchange for their service on the front lines of the opioid crisis in underserved communities. Read more here.
Stress and Trauma Research
  • A study funded in part by NIMH has shed light on the neurocomputational contributions to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans. These findings could help explain why symptoms of PTSD can be severe for some people but not others.
Upcoming Events
  • In recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, NIMH is hosting a Twitter chat on eating disorders. This chat will cover the common types of eating disorders, how they are treated, current research, and how to find help. Thursday, Februrary 28, 2-3pm.
  • The NIMH Center for Global Mental Health Research and Grand Challenges Canada will co-convene the 10th anniversary global mental health conference in 2019, bringing together researchers, innovators, and other stakeholders around the theme of Global Mental Health Research Without Borders. April 8-9, 2019
We look forward to continuing to work together for change!