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Center for Mental Health Services Research (CMHSR)

The CMHSR conducts applied research and policy studies on the delivery of services to person with severe and persistent mental illnesses. The CMHSR is affiliated with and receives core funding from a larger NIMH- funded Center for Research on Services for Severe Mental Illness, in collaboration with investigators at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and Department of Psychiatry.

The CMHSR has a portfolio of projects with a total annual budget of approximately $2 million, with funding from multiple federal, state and private sources, including NIMH, NIDA, VHA HSR&D, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Association of State Mental Health Directors, and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The CMHSR provides core support for faculty who are planning and conducting services research on severe and persistent mental illnesses, including secretarial support, data collection support, statistical consultation and support, computer support, and research design consultation.

Among the CMHSR's major projects, past and current, are the Robert Wood Johnson Program on Chronic Mental Illness (RWJ/NIMH), Implications of Substance Abuse Among Psychiatric Patients (NIDA), Baltimore McKinney Program for the Homeless Mentally Ill (CMHS), Center for Research/Technical Development/Knowledge Dissemination on Housing for the Mentally Ill (CMHS), Patterns of Service Utilization for Schizophrenia (NIMH), Maryland Training Collaborative (MD, DHMH), the Schizophrenia PORT (AHCPR), the Employment Demonstration Project for Persons with Severe Mental Illness (CMHS), Quality of Care Assessment in Schizophrenia (NIMH), Morbidity in Schizophrenia: A Focus on Diabetes (NIMH), Effectiveness of Family to Family Education in Mental Illness (RWJ), Improving Quality of Care for Veterans with Schizophrenia (VHA HSR&D), and Do Practice Guidelines Reduce Smoking in Schizophrenia? (NIDA).

The CMHSR has core Study Coordination Units and Biostatistical Analysis Units that relate in a matrix management structure to the Principal Investigators and Project Managers of all Center projects. These units maintain a well-trained staff of bachelor- and master- degree-level research assistants and clinically trained research associates for data collection and data analyses, supervised by directors for each unit. The unit directors oversee on-going staff development, training, and supervision. The Study Coordination Unit is responsible for all aspects of data collection from initial development of data collection forms and staff training to data entry. The Biostatistical Analysis Unit is responsible for all aspects of data analysis from initial data cleaning to final analyses for reports and publications.