National Institute of Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was founded in 1949 as one of the four original institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With an annual budget of roughly $1.5 billion in 2016, NIMH accounts for approximately 5% of the overall NIH budget. The stated mission of NIMH, according to its website, is “to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.” NIMH is the leading funder of mental health research globally; thus, it is important that mental health practitioners and researchers understand its history, organizational structure, and strategic priorities.


In 1946, President Harry Truman established NIMH with the signing of the National Mental Health Act. In its early years, ...

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