Purpose of this program:
To increase knowledge of basic brain and behavioral processes that underlie mental and behavioral disorders and of processes that contribute to maintaining mental health; to support epidemiological studies of biological and environmental risk factors; to translate basic and epidemiological research into the development of new diagnostics and interventions for preventing and treating mental disorders; to conduct clinical trials for testing the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions in controlled and real-world settings; and to conduct research to improve mental health service delivery and use. Research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health may employ theoretical, laboratory, clinical, epidemiological, and field studies. Studies may involve individuals with a mental disorder diagnosis, individuals with symptom levels that do not meet diagnostic thresholds, and healthy individuals of all ages. Research also may involve animal, computational, and mathematical models appropriate to the system being investigated and the state of the field. Areas eligible for research support are: basic and clinical neuroscience; genetics; developmental, behavioral, clinical, and epidemiological research relevant to mental illness, behavioral disorders, and HIV/AIDS in terms of the causes, prevention, treatment, and service delivery; basic (brain and behavior), clinical, and services research on the mental health problems of women, minorities, and rural populations; and research designed to eliminate mental health disparities.