MIAMI, May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- People are diagnosed with mental illness every day. Statistics alone would alarm anyone unfamiliar with the condition; a rare occurrence, as mental disorders affect one in four people. There are several treatments on the market, but much more exploration is needed to further the advancement of medication. However, many mental health clinical trials are delayed due to an issue elevated by the Wall Street Journal - the lack of patients aware of, or willing to join clinical studies.
As reported by WSJ Columnist, Laura Landro, the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) will soon announce recommendations for all clinical trial stakeholders to collaborate in an effort to improve the process and experience for patients. Like-minded organizations in the mental health field have already begun aligning efforts to educate, inform, support and care for patients through every stage of the research process.
The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization that educates, advocates and provides resources by leading events and activities that help combat stigma and encourage understanding. The NAMI website is also a repository of news, data and information for mental health patients as well as loved ones who are seeking help and support. With local chapters across the nation, NAMI Miami-Dade has collaborated with numerous research companies like Segal Institute for Clinical Research at community events to inform individuals with a diagnosis of enrollment opportunities for clinical trials, explain the purpose of trials, the participation and commitment expectations, and distribute materials to encourage thorough consideration. Public interaction allows for only broad explanations about clinical trials, however, potential research participants are given a more intimate understanding during pre-screenings at Segal Institute sites, a safe environment to address questions, apprehensions, and expectations.
A national public opinion poll conducted by Research America found that "lack of trust" is a key reason for the low number of volunteerism of clinical trials. Organizations like, The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), are dedicated to educating and informing the public about clinical research and the role of each stakeholder. Among many other altruist initiatives, CISCRP hosts "AWARE for All" events across the country, empowering people to make informed decisions about clinical research participation. Each event comprises of free health screenings, informational exhibits that feature community organizations and clinical research centers, local physician and patient speakers, and more. Similar to CISCRP, the STARR Coalition aims to increase communication, partnerships and goodwill among stakeholders in the areas of treatment, advocacy, and clinical research. Strengthening relationships with organizations and healthcare systems, the STARR Coalition strongly advocates for change and a breakdown of structural and attitudinal barriers that hinder positive mental health outcomes.
Approximately 450 million people across the globe - almost seven percent of the world's population - currently live with mental health disorders, affirming that mental illness is a significant issue that is in need of more exploration. Fortunately, published research and prominent news sources have elevated concerns of clinical study enrollment to national discourse, stimulating a shift from isolated efforts to collaborations between advocacy groups, research institutions, sponsors, physicians and other stakeholders who are responsible for rebuilding patient trust and spurring interest in clinical trial enrollment for mental illness and all other health conditions.
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SOURCE Segal Institute for Clinical Research