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Research Highlight: Transforming Mental Health Care Through ALACRITY

In 2018, 11.4 million adults in the United States experienced a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, severe bipolar disorder, and severe depression. People with severe emotional disturbance or serious mental illness can experience functional impairments and disabilities, which substantially interfere with their lives. They are also at higher risk for other health conditions—such as cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious diseases, diabetes, and hypertension—and shorter lifespans.

To prevent and treat mental illnesses, interventions and therapies need to be tested and put to use in clinical and other real-world settings. A key component of research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) focuses on service research, which has the potential to impact patients, families, and communities in the near-term.

NIMH, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded more than 10 million dollars in fiscal year 2019 to help speed the translation of research findings into improved mental health care in clinics and communities. The awards support the Accelerating the Reach and Impact of Treatments for Youth and Adults with Mental Illness (ALACRITY) Research Center program, which aims to transform care for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance and adults with serious mental illness.

Initiated by the NIMH Division of Services and Intervention Research (DSIR), ALACRITY supports eight Centers across the country. Each Center and research team is focused on underserved populations urgently in need of mental health care. Teams include clinical and mental health services researchers, behavioral and social scientists, health information and communications technologists, health systems engineers, and other specialists. Each individual Center pursues its own combination of mental health services research and research on preventive and therapeutic interventions. All of the Centers focus on a range of populations and span a variety of settings where services are delivered.

The Centers include:

The ALACRITY Centers are intended to serve as incubators for innovative research ideas and new transdisciplinary collaborations. The collaboration across new and emerging fields and the engagement with stakeholders – consumers, families, providers, administrators, payers, policymakers – are cornerstones of this effort. Through ALACRITY, NIMH aims to support research that could transform the treatment and service delivery in the very near future.

For more information

Grants

MH113838; MH115837; MH115838; MH11584; MH115843; MH115846; MH116105; MH118489

Research Highlight