Mental health disorders are associated with tremendous suffering and expense, including billions of dollars in health care expenditures and lost productivity. On top of this, mental illness continues to carry a stubborn stigma that prevents many people from getting the care they need.

Through our program of mental health research, we have fostered a greater understanding of mental illness and have tested innovative interventions that improve access to evidence-based therapies. In the past decade alone, we have conducted more than 35 studies of mental illnesses, ranging from depression and anxiety to eating disorders and bipolar disorder.

With the knowledge that mental and physical health are inextricably linked, we study mental illnesses in the context of their commonly associated physical health conditions, such as chronic pain and obesity. And in addition to developing new ways to prevent and treat mental health problems, we evaluate the cost-effectiveness of these programs to enhance the impact of our work on health care policy.

Featured Study

Health-Related Quality of Life in Teens with Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders among adolescents and has many negative consequences, including impaired functioning and risk for future problems such as poor school performance, impaired relationships, substance abuse, and suicide. To help evaluate new treatments and inform public health policies, we developed new clinical measurement tools for capturing the full impact of depression on teens’ lives.


Frances Lynch, PhD
Principal Investigator
Funder: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

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