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NAMI Announces New Center on Practice & Research;
Dr. Xavier Amador to Head



For Immediate Release: December 17, 2001
Contact: Anne-Marie Chace 703-524-7600


Arlington, VA - The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is pleased to announce that Xavier F. Amador, Ph.D. will join its national office in January 2002 as director of NAMI's new national Center on Practice & Research.

Amador is currently director of psychology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City and an associate professor in the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University. A clinician and scientist by training, he is the author of I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help! Helping the Seriously Mentally Ill Accept Treatment (2000), as well as other books that focus on helping people with serious mental illnesses and their families to optimize recovery. He has pioneered research on poor insight into illness, a.k.a. anosognosia, for the past decade and is an internationally acclaimed expert on it.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Amador joining our team," said NAMI executive director Richard Birkel, Ph.D. "He brings expertise, energy and real-world perspective to NAMI's vision for the future-investing in partnerships for recovery for people with mental illnesses."

Amador will direct the new Center's efforts to identify the best evidence-based practices for helping people with serious mental illnesses to recover. As both a clearinghouse and technical assistance center, its mission includes:

  • Identifying the best science-based practices and services and disseminating that information widely.
  • Completion of a "State Report Card" that will identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of mental health services in all 50 States, with the ultimate goal of providing recognition to areas of excellence and facilitating change where improvement is needed.
  • Developing evidence-based practices that promote the involvement of consumers and families as key service providers.
"This is an exciting time to be joining NAMI," Amador said. "We have an opportunity to close the gap between science and practice, and to get vital new information into the hands of the people who need it most. Medical and psychological advances are occurring at a rate that far exceeds public awareness and access. Individuals, government, and organizations need an authoritative and unbiased source for information on best practices. No other organization is in a better position to be that source than NAMI."

 


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