Housing and Urban Development, as well as state governments, universities, and private foundations. This agenda should facilitate development in three major areas:

  • Building the infrastructure to coordinate research and service programs and to train and support new investigators.

  • Expanding the knowledge base for preventive interventions.

  • Conducting well-evaluated preventive interventions.

As previously stated, the committee's recommendations for funding of rigorous preventive intervention research are based on its best estimates of current efforts and its judgment of needed resources to create a robust federal research agenda.

The committee finds the need for prevention of mental disorders so great and the current opportunities for success so abundant that it recommends an increased investment across all federal agencies over the next five years (1995 through 1999) to facilitate the development of these three major areas of the research agenda. It recommends increased support of $50.5 million per year for the next two years, $53 million in year three, and $61 million per year in years four and five. These are modest increases considering the magnitude of the problem of mental illness in this country, and Congress may decide that an even greater investment is warranted.

Funding for the second five years should be recommended by a new coordinating body, such as a national scientific council on the prevention of mental disorders. The amount appropriated in year six should be no less than the amount of support in FY 1999. On the basis of positive results in the first five years, a considerably larger investment could be warranted during the second five years.

The three major areas to be developed are recommended in conjunction with use of the definitions of interventions for mental disorders and of prevention research developed in this report. The term prevention is reserved for only those interventions that occur before the initial onset of a disorder. These preventive interventions can be further classified into universal, selective, and indicated types. The term prevention research refers only to preventive intervention research and is distinct from research that builds a broad scientific base for preventive interventions.


Preventive intervention research for mental disorders cannot thrive without providing for its infrastructure. Two areas are particularly important for moving ahead—coordination and research training.

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