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Mental Health Services Research Committee (SERV)

Consistent with the NIMH Strategic Plan for Research and its stated aim to improve evidence-based services that reach the broadest population, the Mental Health Services Research Committee (SERV) will review applications focused on research topics in mental health services, including delivery and financing of services; accessibility, use, quality, cost, and outcomes of services; the impact of health and insurance policy changes; and dissemination and implementation of evidence-based and promising new preventive, treatment, and services interventions. It will also review applications that focus on improving scientific methods to be applied in mental health services research and methods for improving the design and analytic techniques for testing and delivery of new preventive, treatment and services interventions. Major areas of focus will include improved understanding of the factors that contribute to optimal service availability, practice, and sustainability in a variety of care settings and in diverse communities; contextual factors that contribute to more personalized and effective mental health services; and processes for efficient and ongoing assessment, monitoring, and improvement. Research may focus on organizations, systems, or communities and may examine engagement in and adherence to mental health treatment and services. Research may involve a range of techniques, including primary clinical research, qualitative and observational techniques, and/or secondary data analyses. Applications specific to mental health policy development and outcomes will also be reviewed in SERV.

Specific Areas Covered by SERV:

  • Delivery and effectiveness of mental health services;
  • Multiple criteria evaluation of effectiveness of treatment and services;
  • Use of pharmacological agents in the treatment of mental illness;
  • Optimal organization of mental health and related services;
  • Services needs of particular populations;
  • Help-seeking behavior and health care utilization;
  • Evaluation of innovative service delivery models;
  • Establishing and testing standards for quality of care;
  • Evaluation of services for individuals with multiple co-morbid conditions in persons with mental health disorders;
  • Methodological and statistical challenges inherent in conducting mental health services research in community settings;
  • Evaluation of dissemination and implementation methods on improving mental health services;
  • The effect of social and cultural contexts on the delivery of, acceptance of, and/or barriers to care and on the acceptance of mental illness and persons with mental illness and treatment of such persons in care delivery settings.