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National Institute of Mental Health is an agency formed on April 14 in 1949. It is located in Bethesda, Maryland and it has an annual budget of 1.5 billion dollars. The director of agency is Thomas R. Insel while the deputy director is Philip S. Wang. National Institute of Mental Health’s parent agency is National Institutes of Health. This is one of the 27 different institutes which together constitute the National Institutes of Health. The overall parent agency for all of them put together is an agency which is responsible for all different types of health related and biomedical services and it is also an agency of the United States Department of Health. National Institute of Mental Health is the world’s biggest organization when it comes to dealing with all matters related to mental illness. Its main goal is to clarify all the answers related to mental illnesses by utilizing clinical and basic forms of research and proving proper methods of prevention, treatment and recovery. This agency is known for fostering innovative thinking and providing a vast array of novel scientific perspectives, especially in the field of clinical trials of psychiatric medication, neuroscience and genetics.

Statistical Data

Various different types of mental disorders are quite common in the United States and in most cases it is associated with extreme disability induced by serious mental illness. Serious mental illnesses are defined by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health as mental, emotional or behavioral disorder which result in serious functional impairments and can be diagnosed currently or within the past year.

Research Priorities

National Institute of Mental Health has four main strategic objectives which are clearly defined and identified. One of the four objectives is to strengthen the public health impact of the research supported by the agency. It is also very important to develop new and improved interventions which are meant to incorporate various diverse needs and circumstances of people who are affected by different sorts of mental illnesses. The National Institute of Mental Health is also very keen on charting mental illness trajectories in order to determine how, where and when to intervene. The fourth strategic objective of the National Institute of Mental Health is promoting discoveries in the brain and behavioral sciences in order to fuel further research on the causes of various different types of mental disorders.

History of National Institute of Mental Health

Before World War II, mental health has always been a responsibility of the state, but the increased lobbying for a federal or national initiative has changed things dramatically. The National Mental Health Act was signed into law in the year of 1946 which further led to the establishment of National Institute of Health and a National Advisory Mental Health Council, which took place on April 14, in the year of 1949. Initially, the funding had a slow growth, but after only a couple of years it took a sudden twist and started to grow dramatically. The National Institute of Mental Health became a highly influential authority when it came to the legitimization of the importance of various new advances in community based mental health policies, psychological services, psychiatric services and biomedical science. In 1955 a report called Action for Mental Health was prepared upon request from the Mental Health Study Act. The whole new era when it comes to Federal support for mental health services began in the year of 1963 when the Congress successfully passed the Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act and Mental Retardation Facilities. The year of 1967 brought some more changes as the National Institute of Mental health got separated from National Institutes of Health and received Bureau status. In the year of 1968 the agency because one of the components of the Health Services and Mental Health Administration. During the first half of the seventies, the National Institute of Mental Health got associated with establishment of an important act: the Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Act. The eighties saw the launch of the Epidemiologic Catchment Study which was an enormous effort which included interviews with 20,000 Americans. The first analyses took five years to complete and they gave an immensely rich picture of rates of various sorts of addictive and mental disorders among the citizens of the United States. The year of 1996 saw the initiation of systemic reviews of services research, clinical treatment, prevention research, epidemiology and services for child and adolescent population and genetics of mental disorders and the establishment of programmatic groups for each of the aforementioned areas. The nineties also saw the capitalizations on various new technologies and different approaches to clinical and basic science. In recent years, the National Institute of Mental Health has undergone certain organizational changes which took place mainly because of expanded and changed mental health research needs. 

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