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The National Institute of Mental Health archives materials that are over 4 years old and no longer being updated. The content on this page is provided for historical reference purposes only and may not reflect current knowledge or information.

NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research: Harnessing Science to Strengthen the Public Health Impact


August 1–2, 2016


Bethesda, MD

The National Institute of Mental Health hosted the 23rd Conference on Mental Health Services Research (MHSR) with the theme Harnessing Science to Strengthen the Public Health Impact. The MHSR is the nation’s premier mental health services research conference. This year, the conference brought together leading mental health services researchers, clinicians, mental health advocates, and federal and nonfederal partners.

Services research aims to improve access, continuity, quality, equity, and value of mental health care; a mission crucial to closing the science-to-service delivery gap. The conference highlighted the role of mental health services research to: improve the efficiency and effectiveness of mental health services; establish research partnerships; develop innovative service delivery models to dramatically improve mental health services outcomes; and evaluate the public health impact of mental health research.

The MHSR meeting was co-chaired by: Michael C. Freed, Ph.D., EMT-B and Susan T. Azrin, Ph.D. from the NIMH Services Research and Clinical Epidemiology Branch; Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH from Group Health Research Institute; and Mary McKernan McKay, Ph.D. from Washington University. The meeting featured more than 6 dozen scientific papers that highlighted the field’s most impactful research. These papers were selected from a large and very competitive pool of peer-reviewed abstracts. The meeting also featured research roundtables and a poster session.

Keynote speakers included nationally recognized behavioral health innovators: Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services; Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City; and Gary Belkin, MD, Ph.D., MPH, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Many MHSR sessions were webcast during the conference and are now available online. Visit the MHSR Addendum page for additional information about the recorded sessions or visit the NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research: playlist  on YouTube.