NIMH Advisory Council Convenes for 270th Meeting

On May 16, the National Advisory Mental Health Council met for an open session with a packed agenda. FABBS was grateful for the opportunity to attend the meeting in person. 

The Director’s report included updates on congressional interactions, appropriations, science highlights, and NIH news and activities.

Congressional Briefings

The Director shared that NIMH had participated in seven congressional briefings on a range of topics including suicide prevention, health disparities, serious mental illness, and social media.  The Friends of NIMH, of which FABBS is a founding co-chair, worked with the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus for one of these briefings entitled The Real World Impact of NIMH-Research. 


The President’s fiscal year 2024 (FY24) Budget Request includes $2.3 billion for NIMH, a nearly a 10 percent increase for the institute. FABBS expressed support for this funding in our testimony to the Labor-Health and Human Services subcommittee. Dr. Gordon was one of several institute directors who testified before the Senate Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee on the FY24 Budget Request for the NIH. He received numerous questions on mental health, with a focus on youth mental health, and also about the precision psychiatry initiative.  

White House, Department of Health & Human Services, and NIH Updates  

The Advisory Council heard updates from the agencies, including:

NIMH News to Know 

As it does annually, NIMH has updated the strategic plan for research to emphasize NIMH’s commitment to funding research that aims to reduce mental health disparities and promote health equity. The recently updated Goal 2 expands on the study of the social determinants of health on mental illness trajectories. In addition, NIMH changed the title of Goal 4 to “Advance Mental Health Services to Strengthen Public Health” to better align with the research objectives. To complement the annual Strategic Plan update, the institute also published the annual Strategic Plan Progress Report.   

Dr. Christopher Gordon and Dr. Colleen Lawhorn presented on NIMH’s involvement with the Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society (ComPASS) program.  Watch a recording of the meeting here. See the meeting agenda here.

Dr. Julia Slutsman, Director of Genomic Data Sharing Policy Implementation and Dr. Cindy Danielson, Associate Director of Systems Integration, provided an update on the NIH data sharing policy implementation, and went over resources that were available. The two shared that the goals of this policy are to advance rigorous and reproducible research and promote public trust in research. 

Starting in September 2023, the NIMH will celebrate 75 years of transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. The celebration kicks off with the “Evolution of Mental Health Research” symposium, which highlights key advances in mental health research.