"In consideration of this vision, the mission of NIMH [National Institute of Mental Health Strategic Plan] is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. The burden that this research addresses is enormous. In a given year, an estimated 13 million American adults (approximately 1 in 17) have a seriously debilitating mental illness.1,2 Mental health disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States and Canada, accounting for 25 percent of all years of life lost to disability and premature mortality (Disability Adjusted Life Years or DALYs).3 Moreover, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for the deaths of approximately 30,000 Americans each year.4 Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, autism, and other disorders are serious, often life-threatening illnesses for which we need reliable diagnostic tests, new treatments, and effective strategies for prevention. This public health mandate demands that we harness powerful scientific tools to achieve better understanding, treatment, and ultimately, prevention of these disabling conditions."
National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/