Patient-Centered Research Seeks to Improve Conversations About Mental Illness

Despite the fact that mental illness affects one in every four Americans, more often than not it isn’t addressed in public discussions about health care. So, when is the right time to raise awareness and garner support for the 57 million Americans struggling with mental health issues? Today—right now.

Too many patients, families and even caregivers lack quality information to make a good decision about their health, especially when the situation involves mental illness. A new independent health research organization, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), seeks to change that common problem. PCORI is designed to answer questions that matter most to patients and their caregivers.

A Shift Toward Patient-Centered Care

Sue Sheridan’s life as a patient advocate has been shaped by two devastating encounters with the health care system. Her experiences brought her to the ◊Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute [www.pcori.org]◊, where she works to ensure that patients’ voices are heard throughout the research process.

PCORI was created to provide patients and those who care for them with high-quality information to make better-informed health care decisions. Better information about what works in health care will improve outcomes, reduce errors and help everyone live a healthier life.