Below are some research projects that require the participation of individuals with mental illnesses and, occasionally, their family members. We all know that research is crucial for improved understanding, treatment, prevention, and the ultimate cure of serious brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other conditions. But participation in a research project may involve some risks to the volunteer. For each of the studies listed below, we have received verification from the lead scientist on the study that an institutional review board (IRB) has approved the study. Nonetheless, if you are interested in participating in one of these studies, make sure that you can answer the following questions for yourself:
What is the study about?
What will you be asked to do in the study?
What risks might you face?
Who do you contact with questions, concerns, or problems?
How will you be kept informed about the progress and results of the study?
You should feel that you fully understand the project and your role in it before signing an informed consent document. Do not enter any studies you do not fully understand.
Some studies pose more of a risk to you as the research participant than others and require special consideration before you agree to participate. Medication-free studies (also called "washouts" where a participant has to stop all of his or her medications) or studies involving a placebo arm are examples of the type of research that call for careful assessment before you enter such a research study. For some people, studies that are medication-free would be a dangerous choice and should be avoided. Studies that involve genetic testing also require careful thought on the part of research participants. These are newer types of studies that compile information about research participants' genetics and medical records. Genetic studies offer a number of protections for your private health information, but be sure that you check beforehand about the way your information will be protected and that you are comfortable with how the information is handled during and after the study.
Research may help others as scientists better understand the brain and mental illnesses. You should know that you may or may not benefit from participating in the study. Although for some people, the greatest benefit of participating in research is the gratification of contributing to new advances in knowledge and treatment.
If you do choose to participate in a study, we applaud your important contribution to the science of serious mental illnesses and we want you to be as informed and protected as possible -- a true partner in research.
Remember that all participation in research is voluntary and is not part of your treatment.
Also see Protection of Research Volunteers
In addition to the specific studies listed below, you can go to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s link to federally and privately funded studies worldwide.
If you would like to list your research study here, please see below.
General Research Studies About Mental Illness
Research studies involving all types of mental illnesses.
Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder
Research studies involving schizophrenia and/or schizoaffective disorder.
Research studies involving bipolar disorder.
Research studies involving depression (unipolar, recurrent, etc.).
Research studies involving Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Research Studies involving other mental illnesses not listed above.
Do You Want to Post a Research Study Volunteer Request on NAMI's Website?
Please send your study's recruitment ad, documentation of IRB approval, and the study's informed consent document for research participants to Dania Douglas at firstname.lastname@example.org. After review of the relevance of the study to NAMI members and the IRB status, NAMI will post the information.