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and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

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Celebrating NIMH’s 75 Years


75th Anniversary

In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Mental Health Act. In addition to its broad purpose of improving "the mental health of the people of the United States," this landmark piece of legislation enabled the founding, three years later, of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). NIMH’s founding represented hope—hope for better understanding and better treatments for people with mental illnesses.

NIMH has seen many changes since its founding almost 75 years ago. The institute has adjusted to transitions in organizational structure and administrative control. It has adapted to cultural and societal shifts. And it has embraced rapid advances in science and technology. Through its evolution, NIMH has remained committed to supporting research that transforms our understanding of mental illnesses and paves the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

The impacts of this research are significant. NIMH-supported research has played a pivotal role in advancing our understanding of the brain, developing groundbreaking treatments and therapies, and improving the quality and availability of evidence-based mental health care. Over the next year, we will commemorate NIMH’s 75th Anniversary, reflecting on this research and what it has meant for people living with mental illnesses, their loved ones, their communities, and society at large.

Throughout the coming year, we’ll be hosting a series of special events centered around this milestone anniversary. Our inaugural 75th Anniversary event, “The Evolution of Mental Health Research," takes place on Wednesday, September 13, 2023. Styled as a daylong symposium, the event will feature talks and discussions with a diverse lineup of thought leaders. The symposium will explore how the evolution of the brain, the evolution of brain science, and the evolution of our understanding of the brain in human mental health have converged in the 21st century. We hope that you’ll join us in person or virtually for what promises to be a day of wide-ranging, thought-provoking conversations. You can register to attend on the NIMH event page.

And that’s just the beginning. We’ll also be sharing feature stories that provide an in-depth look at selected scientific advancements in mental health. We’ll be releasing a podcast miniseries, featuring innovators in mental health research. And a new commemorative booklet will walk readers through a timeline of notable events and advances throughout NIMH's history. I'll also be inviting a range of guest contributions from NIMH divisions, offices, and teams for my Director’s Messages, each focusing on a different aspect of NIMH’s broad mission.

Together, these various activities will allow us to highlight NIMH’s achievements and recognize the hard work, bright minds, and innovative spirit of those who have contributed to the institute’s mission.

To that end, I want to express my gratitude to all the NIMH employees—past and present—who have helped guide the institute to where it is today. NIMH also owes a great deal of thanks to the broader scientific, advocacy, legislative, and professional communities and the public for their instrumental support. Finally, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this celebration by sharing their time, expertise, and experiences. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the director of a federal agency with such an inspirational mission.

Our 75th Anniversary is more than an opportunity for celebration. It also invites us to reflect, gain perspective, and acknowledge ongoing challenges so that we’re prepared to navigate the road ahead. We have a long way to go to realize our vision of a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured—sharing our research and discoveries offers hope for a brighter future.

Together, let’s reaffirm our commitment to the hope that inspired our founding.

To learn more about our upcoming events and activities, you can follow NIMH on social media, sign up for NIMH email updates, and visit