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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Office of Rural Mental Health Research (ORMHR)


The Office of Rural Mental Health Research (ORMHR) is mandated by Congress to coordinate the research activities of the Department of Health and Human Services as such opportunities relate to the mental health of residents of rural areas, and to coordinate and synergize HHS activities with critical related activities of public and nonprofit entities.

ORMHR is authorized, directly through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts with public or nonprofit private entities, to:

  • Conduct research on mental disorders that are unique to the residents of rural areas, or more serious or prevalent in such residents
  • Conduct research on improving the delivery of services in such areas
  • Disseminate information to appropriate public and nonprofit entities

ORMHR coordinates efforts with the NIMH Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD) to evaluate and address mental health disparities in rural communities.

ORMHR also coordinates with and supports the NIH Tribal Health Research Office  on policy and research related activities across NIH Institutes and Centers; promotes NIH/NIMH communication and collaborations with the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee  on development and implementation of the Arctic Research Plan ; and, coordinates with the Arctic Mental Health Working Group  of the United States Arctic Research Commission to strengthen systems of care to prevent suicide and improve mental health in the circumpolar north via the promotion of knowledge, research, and evidence-based early intervention and primary prevention efforts in Indigenous populations.

ORMHR Contacts

Christina P. Borba, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity
6001 Executive Boulevard. Bethesda, MD 20892

Dawn Morales, Ph.D.
Program Chief
Office of Rural Mental Health Research
6001 Executive Blvd, Rm. 7211-D