Mental Health Research

Better treatments, improved outcomes and medical breakthroughs come through scientific research and discovery. As an advocacy and education related organization, supporting the advancement of brain research is an integral part of our mission. Understanding the causes of mental illness can lead to advances in prevention, as well as to more effective ways to address symptoms and ultimately improve the quality of life for people living with mental illness.

Mental Health Association Oklahoma is the Oklahoma Outreach Partner for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Through our relationship with NIMH, it is our goal to help disemminate information on research findings, and to serve as a conduit between the research community and the community at large.

NIMH Participants Guide to ResearchPlease note, it is not our policy to endorse a research project, but rather to generate awareness of those studies being conducted in our area, and provide individuals the opportunity to explore and make a personal determination regarding study participation, including consultation with your healthcare provider. We encourage anyone considering participating in a clinical research study to educate him or herself prior to agreeing to take part in a study.

If you, or someone you know, are considering participating in a trial, an excellent starting place is the NIMH publication, A Participant’s Guide to Mental Health Clinical Research which can be downloaded here. This brochure provides answers to common questions about volunteering for mental health clinical research.

NIH Bipolar & Severe Irritability Research Studies:  Enrolling Participants Nationwide

At the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, several research studies are being conducted into the causes of bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation (SMD).  These studies seek children and adolescent participants who have bipolar disorder or severe irritability.

All evaluations, research procedures, inpatient (day or full hospitalization) and outpatient visits are free of cost. Both parent and child must agree to the child’s participation. Schooling is provided during inpatient care. Children and parents are compensated for participation. Travel and lodging expenses are paid by NIMH.

To learn more about the qualifications of participating in these studies you can visit the NIMH website for the following studies:

You can also contact NIMH directly with any questions about study criteria and qualifications, or for more information. Please call (301) 496-8381 or email us at

A few helpful research related links:

National Institute of Mental Health
General information and science news related to clinical research, along with information related to current studies and NIMH-sponsored trials.

Laureate Institute for Brain Research
The Laureate Institute for Brain Research aims to discover the biological basis for neuropsychiatric disorders. The Institute conducts studies using magnetic resonance imaging, genotyping, and blood-based protein assays in children, adolescents, and adults. The areas of study include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. is a service of the U.S. Institutes of Health.  It is a registry and a results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. gives you information about a trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details. This information should be used in conjunction with advice from health care professionals.

NARSAD, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) is committed to alleviating the suffering of mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and  breakthroughs in scientific research.

Nationwide Recruitment: Bipolar Disorder Genetics
Families and individuals who have Bipolar Disorder are being asked to contribute their personal information and a blood sample to an anonymous national database. This information will aid scientists around the world who are working together to develop better treatments for this serious mood disorder.