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National Council for Mental Wellbeing Appoints a Panel of Expert Advisors to Expand Mental Health Research in the United States

April 9, 2021

Sophia Majlessi

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council for Mental Wellbeing today announced the appointment of an independent advisory group consisting of some of the nation’s top behavioral health academics, who will lead research to deepen the understanding of how Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) supports mental health and addiction awareness.

Through its work, the MHFA Research Advisors will provide the National Council guidance to ensure MHFA is supported by, and contributes to, evidence-base for education activities. Cumulatively, the MHFA Research Advisors have spent decades researching a range of issues affecting the mental health of adults, children, veterans, people in underserved communities and Black, Indigenous and people of color – including stigma, barriers to access, standards of care and design and implementation of culturally responsive programs.

“We are honored that these distinguished academics will lend their talents and focus their research on programs to help people with mental illness and substance use disorders,” National Council President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia said. “We must make every effort to ensure National Council programs are supported by the rigorous efforts of the academic community. The new independent Mental Health First Aid Research Advisors will add to the evidence base for this important program.”

Members of the MHFA Research Advisors include:

  1. David L. Albright, Ph.D., MSW, Distinguished Research Professor and Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health Research, University of Alabama
  2. Riana Elyse Anderson, Ph.D., LCP, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  3. Bruno Anthony, Ph.D., Professor, Vice Chair and Director, Office of Psychological Science and Practice, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado, School of Medicine; Chief of Psychology, Pediatric Mental Health Institute, Children’s Hospital, Colorado
  4. Madelyn S. Gould, Ph.D., MPH, Irving Philips Professor of Epidemiology in Psychiatry, Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
  5. Kim Gryglewicz, Ph.D., MSW, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, College of Medicine, Department of Population Health Sciences; Co-Director, Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training, University of Central Florida
  6. Othelia Eun-Kyoung Lee, Ph.D., Professor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  7. Olga Acosta Price, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
  8. Pamela Valera, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies, Rutgers University School of Public Health
  9. Cixin Wang, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Maryland, College Park
  10. Amy C. Watson, Ph.D., Professor, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  11. Holly C. Wilcox, Ph.D., Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Education

For additional information, please see:
MHFA Research Page
MHFA Research Summary


The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 3,326 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 2.5 million Americans have been trained.

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