NIMH Pursues Agenda Without Hyman

Richard Nakamura, Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), chaired his first Council meeting, which also gave Steve Hyman the opportunity to formally say goodbye to the Council since he left in December.

Karen Studwell attended the National Advisory Mental Health Council meeting held on January 25th. Richard Nakamura, Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), chaired his first Council meeting, which also gave Steve Hyman the opportunity to formally say goodbye to the Council since he left in December. Dr. Nakamura affirmed that he would not be seeking the Director position, and stated that he is encouraged by the numerous inquiries he has received about the position. He also highlighted NIMH's actions taken in response to the attacks of September 11th, both in the short term and long term. While collaborating with other federal agencies to ensure appropriate mental health care was available for victims in both New York City and Washington DC, NIMH also accepted applications for Rapid Assessment Post Impact of Disaster (RAPID) grants, which are being reviewed this month. Grant announcements are expected in February and projects may focus on psychological, biological and behavioral reactions to trauma, appropriate delivery of mental health services, and risk factors for post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance abuse, among both adults and children.

Other priority areas for NIMH this year include expanding research to larger clinical trials, addressing the decrease in clinicians pursuing clinical research career paths, increasing the translational research in behavioral science, and developing new clinical psychopathologic endpoints for diagnosis and treatment of depression. APA's Executive Director for Science Kurt Salzinger and Associate Director Merry Bullock will meet with Dr. Nakamura in February to discuss some of these issues and how psychological science can contribute to these goals for next year.