MHRN Blog

Delivering on the real promise of virtual mental health care

20 May 2020 08:40 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Outreach is especially important in these chaotic times. During March and April, video and telephone visits were an urgent work-around for doing the same work we’ve always done. Now in May, we’re designing and implementing the new work that these times call for.

Pragmatic trials for common clinical questions: Now more than ever

16 April 2020 09:11 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Adrian Hernandez, Rich Platt, and I recently published a Perspective in New England Journal of Medicine about the pressing need for pragmatic clinical trials to answer common clinical questions. But the need for high-quality evidence to address common clinical decisions is now more urgent than we could have imagined.

“H1-H0, H1-H0” is a song we seldom hear in the real world

3 March 2020 06:51 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Arne Beck and I were recently revising the description of one of our Mental Health Research Network projects. We really tried to use the traditional scientific format, specifying H1 (our hypothesis) and H0 (the null hypothesis). But our research just didn’t fit into that mold.

Read Marsha Linehan’s book!

5 February 2020 11:38 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   1 comment

If the Mental Health Research Network had a book club, we’d start with Marsha Linehan’s memoir, Building a Life Worth Living.

Let’s not join the Chickens**t Club!

19 December 2019 08:43 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Jesse Eisinger’s book recounts a speech James Comey made to his prosecutors who had never lost a case at trial. He said they're members of what we like to call "The Chickens**t Club" meaning: You are too timid to take a case to trial unless you already know you will win. I worry that our clinical trials too often follow the same pattern as those white-collar criminal trials.

From 17 years to 17 months (or maybe 14)

25 November 2019 07:49 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Most papers and presentations about improving the quality of health care begin by lamenting the apocryphal 17-year delay from research to implementation. This month, Kaiser Permanente Washington started implementing MHRN-developed suicide risk prediction models only 17 months after we published evidence.

Outreach is meant for the people left outside!

8 October 2019 08:21 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Several years ago, Evette Ludman and I undertook a focus group study to learn about early dropout from psychotherapy. We soon learned, however, that the one-third of people who joined our focus group were not the people we needed to hear from.

Marianne Williamson vs. the DSM-5

3 September 2019 08:33 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Psychiatric epidemiology has become a Presidential campaign issue! Marianne Williamson has taken some heat for her past claim that diagnosis of clinical depression is “such a scam.” She's stood by her point that “There is normal spectrum of human despair; it is a spiritual, not a medical issue.” And she’s stood by her claim that antidepressants are over-prescribed when “people are simply sad.” Is there really any difference between depression and ordinary sadness? Are antidepressants being prescribed inappropriately for “normal human despair”?

Who decides when science is junk?

12 August 2019 07:03 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

During the last month, I found myself in several conversations about promoting open science. We hope that sharing data, research methods, and early results will make research more rigorous and reproducible. But those conversations all turned to the fear that data or preliminary results could be misinterpreted or even deliberately misused. How can we protect the public from misleading “junk science”?

Who Owns the Future of Suicide Risk Prediction?

10 July 2019 11:37 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   2 comments

On my plane rides to and from a recent meeting about big data in suicide prevention, I finally read Jaron Lanier’s 2013 book "Who Owns the Future?" Lanier argues that those who create useful information should be paid by those who profit from it.