Mental Health

The mission of the IHR mental health research team is to improve the understanding and management of mental health conditions for Kaiser Permanente members and the community through a closer connection between research, practice, and policy. The IHR's mental health research team is a member of the Mental Health Research Network (MHRN), a consortium of 13 health system research centers embedded in large and diverse healthcare systems. The MHRN is dedicated to improving patient mental health through research, practice, and policy; with expertise in mental health services and policy research. Support for MHRN is provided by a cooperative agreement from the National Institute of Mental Health. Specific areas of focus for the IHR mental health research team include in-person and web-based psychotherapies for prevention and treatment of depression among pregnant/postpartum and general adult populations, large-scale suicide prevention interventions, electronic medical records-based alerts to reduce inappropriate antipsychotic prescribing for youth, and identification and treatment of psychiatric disorders in medical settings.


Mental Health Researchers


Featured Projects

Investigator: Arne L. Beck, PhD
This grant will expand the existing Mental Health Research Network (MHRN) to include 14 research centers embedded in health systems serving a combined population of over 25 million patients in 16 states. MHRN infrastructure will be enhanced to support a next-generation practice-based network, including an Administrative Core, a Methods core, two Signature research projects (a pragmatic trial of eHealth interventions for perinatal depression and a real-time evaluation of new medications to address suicide risk) and two Pilot research projects (an investigation of stakeholder perspectives on implementation of suicide risk prediction models and a pilot trial of outreach to reduce disparities in depression treatment initiation).
Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Study End Date: 06/30/2024
Investigator: Jennifer Boggs, PhD
This is a pragmatic cluster randomized trial of medical offices to test implementation strategies and clinical effectiveness of the Firearm Safety Check intervention in pediatric primary care. All pediatricians will receive training and an EHR "nudge" during well-visits to provide firearm safety education. Intervention clinics will receive practice facilitation and we will evaluate whether facilitation increases adoption and effectiveness of Firearm Safety Check.
Funder:  National Institute for Mental Health
Study End Date: 06/30/2024
Investigator: Arne L. Beck, PhD
The proposed study seeks to conduct a comprehensive process and outcome evaluation of NZSM implementation in real-world clinical settings across 6 large, diverse Mental Health Research Network affiliated Learning Healthcare Systems providing healthcare for over 9 million individuals each year. Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Study End Date: 06/30/2022
Investigator: Jennifer Boggs, PhD
The goal of this administrative supplement is developing natural language processing tools to identify safety planning and lethal means assessment in patients with suicide risk across three health systems. These tools will be used in the parent award "An Evaluation of the National Zero Suicide Model across Learning Healthcare Systems" to determine the impact of safety planning and lethal means assessment on suicide outcomes in six health systems.
Funder: National Institute for Mental Health
Study End Date: 05/30/2022
Investigator: Arne L. Beck, PhD
The goal of this project is to conduct a 3 phase study in which we (1) develop a sequenced treatment algorithm and workflow to facilitate safer antipsychotic prescribing in youth aged 5-17 years with non-psychotic disorders; (2) conduct a pilot trial of the algorithm and workflow versus usual care; and (3) conduct a large scale pragmatic effectiveness trial of the algorithm and workflow versus usual care in six health systems across the US.
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Study End Date: 06/24/2021
Investigator: Jennifer Boggs, PhD
A 1-year administrative supplement to conduct a qualitative and quantitative pre-implementation, feasibility study offering the digital MindTrials interpretation training to patients with anxiety within behavioral health clinics in Kaiser Permanente Colorado.
Funder: National Institute for Mental Health
Study End Date: 04/30/2021
Investigator: Jennifer Boggs, PhD
We will test the impact of a digital decision aid for safe firearm storage, Lock to Live, using a hybrid type II randomized trial. In the first aim we determined the most effective delivery approaches for Lock to Live that resulted in high levels of patient uptake and acceptance. The second aim is a randomized trial of Lock to Live, measuring storage behavior and implementation factors among patients at risk of suicide. (Public URL: http://lock2live.com/).
Funder: Kaiser Permanente Firearm Injury Prevention Task Force
Study End Date: 12/30/2021
Investigator: Arne L. Beck, PhD
The goal of this project was to conduct a large, pragmatic trial to examine two population-based programs to prevent suicide attempt. Participants were randomly assigned to continued usual care or usual care supplemented by one of the two prevention programs: an outreach and care management program (via secure messaging and telephone) including structured assessment linked to specific care pathways, or an online psycho-educational program focused on development of emotion regulation skills and prevention of suicidal behaviors, supported by coaching to promote engagement and adherence.
Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Study End Date: 07/31/2020
Investigator: Arne L. Beck, PhD
The objective of this study was to use a three-phase structure to develop an activation peer delivery treatment model of web-based peer training and fidelity monitoring tools, to evaluate the feasibility, tolerability, acceptability, safety, and preliminary effectiveness of behavioral activation peer delivery within obstetric practice settings.
Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Study End Date: 07/31/2020
Investigators: Arne L. Beck, PhD and Debra P. Ritzwoller, PhD
The major goal of this project was to conduct a pragmatic randomized clinical trial of the Mindful Mood Balance (MMB) web-based program to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing residual depressive symptoms (RDS) in recurrently depressed patients.
Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Study End Date: 06/30/2019