Release Date:  October 9, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-MH-01-012

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

In order to respond appropriately and in a timely manner to the 
psychological distress likely to occur in the context of any disaster, 
it is necessary to better understand the nature of problems people 
experience, the types of help they seek, and the readiness of our 
health and human service delivery systems to provide needed care and 
treatment.  Collecting information in the difficult days and weeks 
following a disaster presents special challenges; foremost among them 
is the need for investigators to attach the highest priority to 
standards of privacy, dignity, and courtesy in their interactions with  
participants who were affected in any way by an event under study.  
Only through research that is conducted in accordance with such 
standards will we gain information needed to enhance our capability to 
heal the psychological wounds that may be associated with disasters and 
to prevent long-term or recurring psychological distress.

Any information gathering activities in this context must acknowledge 
and adhere to the imperatives of doing no harm, placing the care and 
safety of victims and survivors above all else, and coordinating with 
local assistance efforts.

NIMH Research Priorities
(Updates will be posted as needs emerge over time)

The NIMH supports research on major traumatic events, such as combat 
and war, mass violence and shootings, terrorism, natural and 
technological disasters, refugee trauma, and torture, as well as 
exposure to other forms of violence and traumatic events across 
different settings.   

Research topics include but are not limited to: psychological, 
physiological, biological, and behavioral reactions to trauma; risk 
factors for mental health sequelae (including post-traumatic stress 
disorder, depression and substance abuse); optimal provision of mental 
health services, prevention and treatment.

Current research needs in relation to the attacks of September 11, 2001 
-  Epidemiological research on exposures and reactions - the mental and 
physical health impact on victims/survivors, families, emergency 
workers, and community members; 
-  Research on the settings in which direct and indirect 
victims/survivors present for care, including studies of the impact of 
co-locating mental health services into non-traditional mental health 
settings (e.g., churches, community centers, work settings, health 
clinics, schools, etc) on access, referral, and acceptability of 
-  Research on methods for assessing risk, and for triaging based on 
severity of risk;
-  Observational and descriptive studies to identify factors that 
promote or impede effective health provider training in screening, 
assessment, referral and treatment;
-  Research on the organization and delivery of crisis intervention 
care by mental health and non-mental health providers and Federal, 
state and local agencies;
-  Research on social support systems and coping mechanisms as 
mediators of psychological response to emergency events;
-  Research on intervention and treatment to reduce the risk of 
psychopathology symptom severity, and disability.

In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, NIMH RAPID 
applications and grants related to the tragedy will be administered 
with maximum flexibility.  This flexibility includes a lifting of the 
stated dollar cap for applications.  Potential applicants must contact 
Dr. Farris Tuma (child studies) or Dr. Regina T. Dolan-Sewell (adult 
studies) before submitting a RAPID application to determine whether the 
proposed work meets the guidelines of this program, whether requested 
RAPID funding is likely to be available, and whether the idea should be 
considered for initial submission as a fully developed application.  

Inquires not meeting the RAPID guidelines will be guided to other grant 
mechanisms and to program contacts to discuss alternatives.


Farris Tuma, Sc.D.
Developmental Psychopathology and Prevention Research Branch
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd,  Room 6200,  MSC 9617
Bethesda Maryland 20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-5944
FAX:  (301) 480-4415

Regina T. Dolan-Sewell, Ph.D.
Adult Psychopathology and Prevention Research Branch
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Blvd,  Room 6183,  MSC 9625
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-3728  
FAX:  (301) 443-4611 

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