Priority should be given to programs with evidence of effectiveness in real-world environments, reasonable cost, and manuals or other materials available to guide implementation with a high level of fidelity.
Also key to these efforts will be education of the public about the need for prevention efforts and the benefits that can be achieved. An informed and supportive public is needed to adopt and advocate for effective prevention of MEB disorders and promotion of better mental health outcomes.
Although the volume of prevention research and evidence for successful intervention efforts has grown substantially since 1994, there are rapidly expanding needs for more and better research. In contrast to the need and opportunity, funding for studies of preventive interventions for MEB disorders and their implementation has taken a back seat to funding of studies directed to the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral disorders. In addition, no single agency (federal or private) has prioritized research funding directed to the prevention of MEB disorders or is driving prevention research efforts in a coordinated way.
Conclusion: Federal agencies responsible for funding mental health research have prioritized studies of treatment over prevention.
Several NIH institutes (NIMH, NICHD, NIDA, NIAAA, AHRQ) contribute substantially but focus largely on a single disorder. Coordinated funding by NIH institutes and other agencies is not visible. This paucity of prospective, collaborative funding makes it particularly difficult to generate an integrated, comprehensive approach to innovative prevention research. Funding mechanisms for stimulating research at the intersection of basic science and the development and implementation of new and better preventive interventions are needed now and will be increasingly critical in the future. Basic research in neurobiology, psychology, sociology, economics, and related fields should be supported to fuel the creation of novel strategies for prevention and to promote collaborative, multidisciplinary translational research to document the effectiveness of these strategies (see also Recommendations 5-2 and 5-3).
Recommendation 12-5: The National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies should increase funding for research on prevention and promotion strategies that reduce multiple MEB disorders and