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Release: Dec. 13, 2000

Iowa Consortium for Mental Health receives designation from NIMH

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Consortium for Mental Health was named in October one of 25 new Outreach Partners by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH). NIMH Outreach Partners are part of its Constituency Outreach and Education Program, which chooses state organizations to participate in a nationwide partnership to help connect mental health research and services.

The Iowa Consortium for Mental Health was founded in 1994. Michael Flaum, UI associate professor of psychiatry and consortium director, said the consortium's goals include identifying and prioritizing mental health needs and issues in Iowa, matching those needs and issues with Iowa-based academic resources, and developing and promoting Iowa-based mental health research to inform Iowa mental health policy.

As an NIMH Outreach Partner, the consortium will be responsible for conducting a mental health communication program for the public and health professionals using media relations, statewide coalition building and outreach. Partners also sponsor educational programs focusing on primary care physicians, nurses, employers, teachers and others to encourage participation in NIMH-supported clinical studies.

Flaum said one way the consortium plans to do this is by developing a Web site, focused on Iowa mental health resources and issues. The consortium also will develop educational programs, perform presentations at local and statewide meetings, and create a forum for dialogue between mental health professionals, policy makers and the public. Brenda Hollingsworth, consortium administrator, wrote the successful grant application for the project and will direct it. The consortium has partnered with the Iowa affiliate of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in this effort.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.