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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Research Highlights from 2021

Image of brain and DNA strands
Genomic Data From More Than 41,000 People Shed New Light on Bipolar Disorder

In the largest genome-wide association study of bipolar disorder to date, researchers found about twice as many genetic locations associated with bipolar disorder as reported in previous studies. These and other findings help improve our understanding of the biological origins of bipolar disorder.

Silhouette of team raising their hands over their heads
A New Strength-Focused Framework to Prevent American Indian and Alaska Native Youth Suicide

Researchers have developed a promising new framework for suicide prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The research framework expands on conventional risk reduction strategies by placing Indigenous culture, knowledge, beliefs, and community collaboration at the center of the approach.

a woman holds a baby
Partner Violence and Elevated HIV Viral Load in South African Women

New analysis shows suggests an association between intimate partner violence and elevated viral loads among postpartum women in South Africa.

Photo of the arms and hands of a female therapist holding the hands of a young woman.
Improved Emotion Regulation in Dialectical Behavior Therapy Reduces Suicide Risk in Youth

An analysis of clinical trial data shows that improvements in emotion regulation in youth at high risk for suicide who received dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) led to a reduction in self-harm behaviors.

line drawing illustration of human brain
Mapping ‘Imbalance’ in Brain Anatomy Across the Lifespan

Researchers in the NIMH Intramural Research Program have developed a new way to measure the degree to which the proportions of an individual person’s brain differ from the proportions typically seen in the broader population. This technique yields new insights into brain development and offers tools for further study.

Photo of a pair of woman’s hands holding another woman’s hand on a table.
Assessing Suicide Risk Among Childbearing Women in the U.S. Before and After Giving Birth

NIMH-supported researchers investigated suicide risk among women in the year before and year after giving birth.

hospital exterior sign that reads "Emergency"
Investigating Unintentional Injury as a Risk Factor for Self-Harm

In a recent study, NIMH-supported researchers found that certain types of unintentional injury have stronger associations with self-harm than others in adolescents.

National Institute of Mental Health
NIMH Addresses Critical Need for Rapid-Acting Interventions for Severe Suicide Risk

NIMH is working to meet the urgent need for rapid-acting suicide prevention interventions by supporting research investigating the feasibility and safety of treatment protocols that have the potential to quickly reduce severe suicide risk in youth and adults.

Adolescents taking a selfie
NIH Initiative Expands Access to Resources for Early Psychosis Treatment and Research

The Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET), an NIMH initiative aimed at determining how to best provide treatment for individuals experiencing symptoms of early psychosis, is increasing access to resources for researchers, providers, and families through a growing network of research hubs and a new website.