Program Charter & Mandate:
Mental health clinical research is a particularly challenging area within research. The disparity between mental health research and other disease research is vast even though today’s mental health research is not only safe and a viable care option for those living with mental illness, but research is the only way to find better treatment options and the only way we can ever find cures.
The National Call to Action to Support Mental Health Research was established in response to this need.
Because The STARR Coalition was founded as an unbiased nonprofit organization, we are in an ideal position to develop and coordinate this Call to Action. Our mission is to bring together thought leaders from across the research and advocacy ecosystem to create innovative programs to support mental health clinical research.
We have received no direct or indirect funding for this Call to Action to preserve the neutrality and integrity across all participants and supporters.
The STARR Coalition reached out to stakeholders who shared our urgency and passion for mental health research. A workgroup of representatives from across the research industry and advocacy was formed. Each participant was committed to a plan that would benefit research as a whole and not a specific organization or company. Our mandate is to (1) increase public awareness of the safety and benefits of mental health clinical research, and (2) motivate the public to actively support mental health clinical research, just as with cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other indications.
The workgroup focused on the goal of finding actionable ways individuals and organizations could increase public awareness and support the advancement of mental health research. Our first call was in January of 2020, after which, we met monthly, determining the best ways to achieve success.
Four distinct components to the Call-to-Action were devised:
Volunteer for Research: If more people living with mental health conditions volunteered to participate in clinical research, the increased participation and awareness would support further research. Volunteers are the heroes helping to find new cures.
Promote Research: Mental health research and the resulting treatments have made recovery a reality for many who experience mental illness. Despite the many advances, mental health research has suffered from a negative perception and the disparity between mental health research and other disease research is vast, which is why we all need to work to dispel the myths.
Fund Research: Give to organizations that support not just those with mental illnesses, but that also support the research to find new treatment options.
Support Policy: Support federal and local policy that champions mental health and mental health research.
Parameters around adapting the Call to Action for individual organizations use:
While we encourage organizations to adapt all aspects of the Call to Action, we understand not all actionable items may fit within the scope of your organization’s mission. The level of participation should be tailored to fit within the areas you feel most comfortable.
No matter what components you champion or how you adapt it to your audience or community, it is important that this Call to Action remain neutral and unbiased. It is meant to support mental health research in general, not any specific organization, product, or clinical trial.
We ask that all supporters of this Call to Action sign the form below, agreeing to abide by the founding tenents and parameters of the Call to Action.
Together, we will make a difference.
Kathy Bernstein, Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
Jeffrey Borenstein, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Emily Freitag, Sage Therapeutics
Nichole Gutierrez, Pillar Research Group
Kimberly King, Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
Patricia Marcy, Northwell Health
Andrei Pikalov, Sunovion
Debbie Plotnick, Mental Health America
Linda Stalters, Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA)
Adam Simmons, Alkermes
Lesley White, Alkermes
Bethany Yeiser, CURESZ Foundation
Luke Kramer, The STARR Coalition
Erica Moore, The STARR Coalition
Carol Witham, The STARR Coalition