Press Releases

NAMI Loses a Dedicated Friend

Richard Jed Wyatt, M.D., Former Chief of the Neuropsychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health

Jun 11 2002

Funeral services will be held Friday, June 14th at 2:00 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 3240 "O" Street in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. for Richard Jed Wyatt, former chief of NIMH's Neuropsychiatry Branch and a long-time friend of NAMI, who died June 7th, after a long illness.

Many NAMI members perhaps will best remember Dr. Wyatt as a participant in "Ask the Doctor" sessions at annual conventions, as well as for his leadership in scientific research that contributed to greater understanding of schizophrenia and mood disorders. Some of his most influential work demonstrated that early intervention could alter the course of schizophrenia, that brain grafts could functionally alter and improve some neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, and that blood pressure could be altered through biofeedback. His work produced six books and more than 700 publications.

He was the beloved husband of Kay Redfield Jamison, also a NAMI friend, who is the author of An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness and other major texts on bipolar disorder and suicide.

"Dr. Wyatt was a dedicated, good friend," said NAMI Executive Director Richard C. Birkel, Ph.D. "He helped many people with mental illnesses and brought hope to many families. He was one of the greatest, guiding lights in Decade of the Brain, and one of his greatest legacies about which he himself was most proud was the training of young psychiatrists and scientists who today are continuing to push forward the frontiers of science."

Wyatt received his degrees from John Hopkins University and completed his psychiatric residency at Harvard University. He taught at Harvard, Stanford, Duke, and Columbia Universities and the Uniformed Services School of Medicine. He served on the scientific advisory boards of NAMI, the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (NDMDA), and the American Suicide Foundation.