The STARR Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to advancing mental health research, today announced a National Call to Action to Support Mental Health Research in partnership with biopharmaceutical research leaders, clinical investigators, and advocacy organizations focused on treating unmet mental health needs.
“Mental Health Disorders have long been a neglected area for medical research, unlike other well-funded research for diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, which has led to many life-saving medical advances,” said Luke Kramer, Executive Director of The STARR Coalition. “Mental illness can be just as devastating and individuals living with these illnesses too often suffer in silence. More than half of those living with mental illness do not see a reduction in symptoms with current medical therapies. This is unacceptable. Today’s National Call to Action to Support Mental Health Research was established to draw attention to the urgency for the development of treatment innovations for people living with mental illnesses to live fulfilling, satisfying lives.”
An estimated 44 million adults in the U.S. have a mental health condition, and in the past year, only 4 in 10 people with a mental health condition received treatment.1 Currently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends about $239 billion on research, but only about 7 percent of the funds go towards mental health research.2 Data from 2010 indicate the global direct and indirect economic costs of mental disorders were estimated at $2.5 trillion.3
“The STARR Coalition’s Call-to-Action has four distinct components, each of which lists specific activities that people can do immediately to support each component: (1) Volunteer for Research; (2) Promote Research; (3) Fund Research; and (4) Support Policy,” said Nichole Gutierrez, Site Director at Pillar Clinical Research and a member of STARR’s Call to Action steering committee. “The goals of the initiative are to accelerate scientific research by increasing public awareness of the safety and benefits of mental health clinical research and to motivate the public to actively support mental health clinical research, similar to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other diseases.”
“There are many actionable ways for individuals and organizations to increase public awareness and support the advancement of mental health research aside from the conventional pathways of clinical trials,” said Adam Simmons, Director of Clinical Program Management at Alkermes and a member of STARR’s Call to Action steering committee. “Other important ways to support research include joining and donating to organizations that support research, participating in walks and runs that bring awareness to mental illnesses and research, and sharing stories and supporting your peers’ participation in medical research. The first step to increasing mental health research is to start a conversation about removing the barriers and stigma associated with mental illness.”
To view the list of ways to support mental health research and to get more information about the National Call to Action to Support Mental Health Research, visit the website at https://thestarr.org/supportmhresearch/.
About the STARR Coalition
Founded in 2015 as a forum for the leaders in mental health clinical research, The STARR Coalition is a non-profit, independent organization committed to supporting mental health clinical research by cultivating community engagement, promoting trust, and fostering partnerships and goodwill among stakeholders in mental health advocacy and clinical research.