Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Improving Health and Reducing Premature Mortality in People with Severe Mental Illness (R01)

Notice Number:  NOT-MH-13-010

Key Dates

Release Date:  January 7, 2013
Estimated Publication Date of Announcement:  May 1, 2013
First Estimated Application Due Date:  October 1, 2013 
Earliest Estimated Award Date:  July 1, 2014 
Earliest Estimated Start Date:  July 1, 2014 

Issued by

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)


The NIMH intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to request applications for rigorous effectiveness testing of innovative services interventions designed to reduce the prevalence and magnitude of common modifiable health risk factors related to shortened lifespan in adults with severe mental illness (SMI), as well as in children and youth with serious emotional disturbances (SED).

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. 

The FOA is expected to be published in Spring 2013 with an expected receipt date in Fall 2013.

This FOA will utilize the R01 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise and insights into the area of services interventions to advance the health of adults with SMI and/or children and youth with SED to begin to consider applying for this intended funding announcement. This to-be-released FOA will encourage collaborative investigations that: combine expertise in implementing health promotion and/or risk reduction programs for these populations; propose research aimed at conducting large-scale practical tests of these programs in real-world settings; and propose studies assessing common modifiable health risk factors.

The FOA intends to use the R01 funding mechanism to request research applications to conduct large-scale testing of a services intervention that addresses one or more of the following questions:

1.  How can strategies effective in the general population for reducing common modifiable health risk factors be adapted with equivalent effectiveness for people with SMI or SED?

2.  How can capacity to deliver needed health risk prevention and reduction be significantly improved to reach the largest number of people with SMI or SED?

3.  What strategies can best improve the implementation of effective health risk prevention and reduction interventions for people with SMI or SED?

The goal of the intended future initiative is to test services interventions that specifically target people with SMI or children and/or youth with SED and modifiable health risk factors that are the primary causes of premature mortality in these populations. Services interventions with health promotion, lifestyle change and self-management components will likely be encouraged, as will those integrating intervention components in order to target multiple health risk factors. It is intended that applications will target a services intervention that has the following features:

  • has demonstrated clinical effectiveness of the intervention's core components in the general population (although adaption may be needed for equivalent effectiveness in people with SMI);
  • has relevance to the life circumstances of people with SMI;
  • is conducted in a community-based setting that serves as a platform to engage people with SMI (either within or outside of traditional healthcare settings);
  • has the potential to produce clinically (not just statistically) significant health improvement and reduction in common modifiable health risk factors associated with early mortality in people with SMI;
  • targets the entire population of people with SMI in a given setting, community or care delivery system;
  • has a high likelihood for real-world feasibility in terms of required resources, staffing, training, and patient acceptability;
  • has a strong potential for scalability, so as to reach a large portion of people with SMI at risk, should the services intervention prove clinically effective with this population.

Examples of services interventions for people with SMI or SED that will be potentially targeted might include, but are not limited to, those addressing one or more of the following:

  • Diabetes prevention
  • Cardiovascular disease prevention
  • Obesity prevention
  • Fitness and diet improvement
  • Psychotropic polypharmacy reduction
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Antipsychotic medication management that maximizes optimal psychiatric and functional outcomes while minimizing side effects and adverse health consequences

A variety of methodological approaches may be possible for testing the impact of services interventions. Regardless of the selected approach, the effectiveness testing should include assessment of clinically significant patient-level outcomes.



Inquiries regarding this Notice may be directed to:

Susan T. Azrin, PhD
Division of Services and Intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7145, MSC 9631
Bethesda, MD 20892-9631
Telephone:  301-443-3267