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.

Wiring Adolescents with Social Anxiety via Behavioral Interventions (WASABI): a closed-loop mobile intervention to reduce social anxiety and improve social skills
The University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Studies is recruiting adolescents (ages 14-18) who experience symptoms of social anxiety to participate in a remote study that evaluates two forms of digital Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy (dCBGT) for social anxiety. Participants will engage in weekly 1-hour dCBGT sessions and will have questionnaires to complete throughout the week. Participation will last for 5 months, and participants may be compensated up to $255. Please contact the study coordinator at or visit for more information.  (Posted 6-29-2020)

Attention and Memory Skills Training Research Study
This focus of this study is to evaluate whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) improves attention and memory skills. We are interested in learning more about how well it works and who finds the training helpful. Participants complete attention and memory exercises on a computer while they receive tDCS or a comparison. TDCS is a safe, non-invasive procedure that applies mild electrical stimulation to the brain. Participants have an equal chance of being assigned to receive either tDCS or a comparison that mimics the procedure. After working on the computer, participants talk with an instructor about strategies to use attention and memory skills effectively in everyday life. Training is offered 2-3 times a week. Each session lasts 2 hours. Participants complete 48 training sessions. In addition to the training sessions, there are 6 testing sessions that last 2-5 hours each. Testing sessions include: interviews, questionnaires, paper and pencil tasks, computer tasks, and demonstrations of everyday activities.

Eligible individuals have a diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder, are between the ages of 18-60, are fluent in English, are not abusing substances, do not have a physical health condition that is incompatible with tDCS, are able to participate in a group activity, and do not have a history of brain injury or neurological condition that affects brain function. All sessions are completed at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Participants are paid for each session. Participants who complete all sessions earn $1,245. To learn more, contact Tasha Nienow, PhD, LP at 612-629-7363. (Posted 6-14-2020)

Study on Personal Experiences with Bipolar Disorder
What are your experiences with stigma and bipolar disorder? An undergraduate student at Augsburg University is conducting a research project related to understanding perspectives on bipolar disorder and could use your input. Take the survey via copy and pasting this link into your browser: (Posted 6-7-20)

Voluntary Research Study for Young Adults in Early Psychosis Treatment Programs
This study is an assessment of an online education and support tool for people currently receiving treatment for early psychosis. Study participants will first meet virtually with the research team to provide informed consent and complete a brief survey. Individuals will then be given access to one of two online platforms – a portal with educational resources and videos, or an interactive “role-playing game” designed to build skills and support recovery. The goal of the study is to measure how effective the role-playing game is in supporting treatment engagement and participant empowerment in an online self-directed environment.

All engagement with the research team will be virtual. Participants will be asked to do a brief assessment after 2 months and again after 5 months, and will be paid for their participation. Participants may be eligible for this study if they:
– Are currently enrolled in an Early Psychosis treatment program in the United States.
– Are between the ages of 18 and 30
– Speak English
– Have a working email address and regular access to a computer, laptop or tablet with a webcam.

There will be 200 people participating in this study. This study takes place entirely online. Participants from anywhere in the U.S. are eligible. If you have questions or would like more information, please refer to the website ( You may also contact the research team directly at (Posted 5-20-2020)

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)


NIMH Videos

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