||Melanie Martinez (l), NIMH outreach liaison, meets with Dr. Remi Quirion, INMHA scientific director.
How can public health organizations help bridge the gap between research and clinical practice? The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) found the answer in NIMH's Outreach Partnership Program. The program, which focuses on public outreach and education, became a model
for CIHR's Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) outreach initiative.
The initiative offers awards to Canadian non-governmental organizations dedicated to public health outreach.
In honor of its pioneering example, NIMH's program was featured at INMHA's annual meeting,
held recently in Toronto. Melanie Martinez, NIMH outreach liaison for the partnership program,
presented the NIMH program.
"The Outreach Partnership Program has proven
to be an excellent example of the important
relationship that needs to be established between the government's science-based institutions
and the non-governmental organizations,"
said Dr. Remi Quirion, INMHA scientific
The annual meeting, titled "A Feast of Science
and Partnerships," stressed the importance
of a broad range of partnerships to facilitate
increased communication about science to patients, families and the public. It was held in conjunction with the Canadian Association for Neuroscience.
Started in 1999, the NIMH Outreach Partnership
Program enlists national and state organizations
to assist in disseminating the latest scientific information about mental disorders, alcoholism and drug addiction. The program strives to reduce the stigma and discrimination
associated with these illnesses. There are currently 51 state partners, one in each state and the District of Columbia, and more than 80 national partners. The program is an initiative
of NIMH, with support from NIDA, and in cooperation with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.