Engaging in Mental Health Studies: Participation and Impact

Because mental health problems are complex, research is critical to increasing our understanding of them and the consequences they have on people. The general people may participate in studies that are important to them in a number of ways and using a range of research methodologies.

Some study focuses on genetics and brain science using cutting-edge technologies to learn more about how mental illness develops. Furthermore, researchers examine how people with mental diseases interact with their communities, families, and healthcare providers. These research help create new ways for controlling symptoms, training programs for healthcare professionals, and policies for allocating community resources to ensure that people get the treatment they need when they need it.

Mental health studies are also important in mental health research. They represent the last stage of research into innovative treatments such as medicines or psychotherapies. A treatment is often compared to a placebo or another therapy in these investigations.

Participants are often “randomized” to either the new treatment or a placebo. This randomization may or may not result in therapeutic benefit for the individual. Every clinical study, no matter what role a volunteer plays in the research, improves knowledge and helps present and future patients. For further information on this topic, see the NIMH Questions and Answers document.

Defending Research Topics

NAMI strongly advises that any study involving human subjects adhere to the most stringent moral, scientific, and ethical requirements. This is critical in order to protect the individuals and families that participate in clinical trials and progress research. According to NAMI, study volunteers will only participate in research if they are informed of the risks and possible benefits. They (and, in many cases, their families) must fully understand the research protocols, including how the study will operate and what their obligations will be.
The researchers expressly explain the precautions in place for the storage, maintenance, and exchange of any data acquired (including genetic material).

Researchers undertake independent evaluations of a research subject’s capacity to consent on a regular basis.
Members of Institutional Review Boards suffering from mental diseases, as well as their relatives, may be present.
Participants may withdraw from a study at any time without penalty.

At the end of the study—or if a person withdraws prematurely—effective treatment and aftercare are assured, as is feedback on the results.

For genetic research, clear information on privacy measures, how genetic data will be used, and how it will be shared with other researchers should be supplied.

Several organizations in both the public and private sectors are concerned with the rights and safety of participants in clinical trials and scientific research. For further information, please visit their websites.

Protection of Human Subjects Office

Bioethics Resources from the National Institutes of Health Research and Medicine with a Public Responsibility (PRIM&R) Human Subjects Protection Unit of the NIMH

Registering As A Research Subject

Before participating in a clinical trial or scientific research, be sure you can answer the following questions:

  • What is the trial/study about?
  • What is expected of you?
  • What dangers may you face?

Is the study approved by an Institutional Review Board, which is a group of specialists from academia, medicine, the medical community, and patient advocates who assess and approve the details of each clinical trial?

Who do you contact if you have questions, concerns, or problems?

Will you be kept up to speed on the study’s progress and findings?

Keep in mind that any participation in research is purely voluntary and is not considered part of your treatment. Please with your doctor or healthcare team before participating in a study.

Finding Research

Despite the fact that there are several relevant research studies and clinical trials underway at any one moment, NAMI would like to highlight a select studies that are particularly valuable to our members and the community of mental health advocates.

  • The All Of Us Research Program is a groundbreaking project that will gather health, environmental, and genetic data from at least one million American participants. Researchers will be able to conduct creative studies on mental and physical health if All Of Us creates a diverse body of data rather than focusing on one population or one health concern.
  • The Brain Donor Project collects human brain tissue for scientific research. When a person with a mental health or neurological disorder agrees to donate brain tissue after death, researchers may be able to conduct very significant genetic and molecular studies.

You may explore for opportunities to volunteer as a research study participant using the search engine below. Begin by identifying the mental disease that best describes your experience.You must leave NAMI.org and go to Antidote’s website to get your search results utilizing this tool.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top