Research and Surveys

NAMI Minnesota requests your assistance in gathering information that will help our organization and our partners. Below is a list of current research studies and surveys and we encourage you to learn more about each one and participate in those that are a good fit for you.


Survey on Children’s Mental Health System

NAMI Minnesota is collaborating with the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH) to gain input on the children’s mental health system from families and youth. This information will be used to improve the children’s mental health system. Your voice matters! Please take a few minutes to complete our survey. 

Apps Tested for Treating Teens with Psychosis, StarTribune 11-13-19, here.

Research Studies

NIH Clinical Trials in Minnesota

There are hundreds of NIH Clinical Trials on Mental Health Disorders recruiting in Minnesota. Find out more here.

Study on Awareness of Physical Health Risks Related to Mental Health Conditions and Treatments

This study is an anonymous online survey for adults with a mental health condition and their family members/caregivers. The goal of the survey is to understand how much people know about the physical health risks related to mental health conditions and treatments. The survey will ask questions about the participant’s knowledge of physical health and about the care they have received from health care providers. This study will help health care providers improve the ways they educate and support people with mental health conditions.

Participants may be eligible for this study if they are: 1) Aged 18 or older. 2) Have a mental health condition, or are the family member/ caregiver of a person with a mental health condition. The study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and McLean Hospital. The survey takes 15-20 minutes to complete and is available online. To access the survey please click here. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the researchers at 978-934-4471 or (Posted 1-28-2020)

National Study on Health and Disability
This study is an anonymous online survey for adults who have a physical or mental health condition that impacts their daily life activities. The goal of the study is to learn about participants’ experiences accessing health care. This information is important to measure the impact of health care and health insurance reforms on the experiences and quality of care for people with ongoing care needs. (Find more information and a QR Code phone link.)

The study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL), sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

The survey takes 20 minutes to complete. Participants will have the option to submit the survey anonymously or to provide an email address or phone number. If you choose to provide contact information, you will be entered in a raffle to win a gift card. Contact information will not be stored or used for any purpose other than notifying raffle winners.

Participants may be eligible for this study if they are: Aged 18 or older. Residents of the United States or U.S. territories. Self-identified as having a physical or mental health condition that impacts their daily life activities

Participants can access the survey using this link:

The survey can also be completed over the telephone (please contact the researchers directly for this option). If you have questions or would like more information, please contact 1-855-556-6328 or (Posted 12-15-2019)

Study on How Smoking Affects the Brain in People with Bipolar 1 Disorder

The UMN Bipolar Lab is researching how smoking affects the brain in people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  We are enrolling participants aged 16-40 who have been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder. Participating in this study involves one visit to the University of Minnesota campus. The visit will take about 4 hours and includes a 90-minute MRI brain scan, a clinical assessment, and a blood draw. If you are able to complete the full visit, you will be compensated $150 for your participation. If you are interested in participating or have questions about the study, please contact the UMN Bipolar Lab at 612-624-0191 or (Posted 11-18-19)

Visual Perception In Psychotic Psychopathology (VIP Family Study)

The University of Minnesota’s Dept. of Psychiatry is seeking mental health patients and their immediate family members to participate in Dr. Scott Sponheim’s VIP family study (Neural Disconnection and Errant Visual Perception In Psychotic Psychopathology) to understand thinking functions and visual perception. This study will focus on families in which at least one member is diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder. Participation involves cognitive assessments, a neurological exam, a blood draw, interviews, and MRI scans. Participants must be between 18 and 65 years old, in good general physical health, no history of a central nervous system disorder/problem, and primary language must be English.

Participants will spend 20 hours at the University of Minnesota spread out over 3 different appointments. Days and times are arranged based on the participant’s availability and preference. A taxi can be provided if the participant does not have transportation. There will be compensation of $400 for full completion of all study procedures. For information, contact Yeliz at 612-625-7607 or Please add “VIP Study” in the subject line. (Update Posted 10-29-19 – See Flyer)

Study on Understanding Psychosis 

Individuals who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective or bipolar disorder with psychosis and their siblings are invited to participate in a research study being conducted by Dr. Scott Sponheim of the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis VA Medical Center.

This study is about understanding thinking functions and visual perception in individuals who experience psychosis and their biological siblings. Participation will involve a set of interviews and questionnaires; cognitive assessment of thinking abilities; a blood draw or saliva sample, and measurements of brain structure and brain activity while at rest and while completing different tasks (through MRI and MEG).

Participants will spend a maximum of 15 hours at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and the University of MN campus, usually spread out over 3 different appointments. Days and times are arranged based on the participant’s availability and preference. A taxi can be provided if the participant does not have transportation. There will be compensation of $300 for full completion of all study procedures. If you are interested in participating, call Elsa at 612-467-1577 or email to Please put “PENS2 Study” in the subject line. (Posted 9-12-19)

Study on Guided Imagery and Music to Treat Depression

A team of music therapy researchers are seeking adults with depression to participate in a study on Guided Imagery and Music in the treatment of depression. Guided Imagery and Music is a specialized music therapy approach in which specially selected classical music is used to support internal imagery, which the client and therapist work together to use in the client’s healing process. One of the study sites is in the St. Paul area.

If you decide to participate, you will be provided with a series of Guided Imagery and Music sessions at no cost. You will also be asked to complete a series of questionnaires five times over the course of the study. To be eligible for this study, you need to be at least 18 years old and have depression, rather than another illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder. There is no cost to participate. All participants will be provided with Guided Imagery and Music sessions at no cost. However, additional compensation is not provided. For information, call (302) 285-9989 or email (Posted 9-4-19)

Borderline Personality Disorder and Families

Cultural anthropologist Maureen O’Dougherty (Ph.D. City University of New York; associate professor at Metropolitan State University) is conducting a qualitative study with individuals who have a family member that lives with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Much of the study has been completed, but some additional volunteers are needed. Participation in the study entails taking part in an interview with the researcher to discuss what the experience of BPD in the family has been like for them as parents or siblings.

Results of the study will be used to inform advocates for families of those who live with BPD, as well as professionals who work with people living with BPD. The information gathered is intended to aid in the development of better tools and resources to address the needs of individuals with BPD and their families. If interested in learning more about the study, please call or text Dr. O’Dougherty at 612-508-3007 or email her at (Posted 6-21-19)

Finding Causes and Treating Depression in Teenagers

The study is recruiting participants ages 11-17 who are depressed and have a pediatrician or medical provider. The study begins with an outpatient evaluation (clinical assessment, interviews, and questionnaires). Outpatient study visits include a clinical assessment, research tasks, and brain imaging, up to age 25. Eligible participants may receive treatment of evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy and, if indicated, standard medicines. Enrollment is from across the U.S. Transportation expenses to NIH in Bethesda, MD are reimbursed. There is no cost to participate and compensation is provided. For more information, call 1-301-827-1350 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010] or email Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, Protocol Number: 18-M-0037.  (Posted 6-4-19)

BRIDGES (Brain Imaging Development of Girls’ Emotion and Self) Study

The RAD Lab uses brain imaging to study adolescent depression and self-harm. Our BRIDGES (Brain Imaging Development of Girls’ Emotion and Self) study is currently recruiting girls aged 12-16. During the teenage years, the brain undergoes major changes. The BRIDGES study is working to understand brain development in adolescents with and without self-injury (a common problem in teenagers). The goal is to learn more about the biology underlying self-harm, to pave the way for developing better treatment options in the future.

The BRIDGES study includes three appointments at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis: 1) a clinical interview, 2) speech and computer tasks, and 3) an MRI brain scan. These three visits take place once a year for three years. There is no cost and participants are compensated with a debit card for their time. Participants are also able to view an image of their brain and receive a copy to take home. Participants must have had their first period and cannot have braces or an implanted medical device. Parental consent is needed. To complete a screen for the study call 612-626-8534 or email the RAD Lab at To learn more you can also visit (Posted 8-9-2018)

TMS Study on Depression and Brain Function

This inpatient and/or outpatient study involves daily visits for 8 weeks followed by once-monthly visits for 3 months. The study seeks depressed participants to test the effects of the combination of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and psychotherapy on brain function. compensation is provided. The study is conducted at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and is enrolling participants nationwide. Travel arrangements are provided and costs are covered. For information: 1-877-MIND-NIH, 1-877-646-3644 or TTY: 1-866-411-1010 or (Posted 3-6-2018)

NIMH Updates

Discover NIMH Videos, here.

NIMH Update, Aug. 1, 2019, here.
NIMH Update, June 1, 2019, here.
NIMH Update, Feb. 1, 2019, here.