NIMH's Dr Pamela Collins leaves NIH to head global mental health at University of Washington

July / August 2017 | Volume 16, Issue 4

A champion of global mental research who helped raise its profile internationally, Dr. Pamela Y. Collins has left the NIH to join the University of Washington (UW) as director of global mental health.

Dr. Pamela Collins speaking
Photo courtesy of CUGH

Dr. Pamela Y. Collins

Collins spent nearly eight years at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), serving as director of the Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health and the Office of Rural Mental Health Research. “During her impressive tenure, she developed NIMH's strategic vision and priorities for research on global mental health and mental health disparities in the U.S., building a robust research portfolio and creating a pathway to independence for young investigators,” NIMH Director Dr. Joshua A. Gordon said.

Together with her team, she developed 11 new initiatives for research or training opportunities in mental health in low- and middle-income countries, and led the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health study, engaging more than 400 participants from 60 countries, Gordon said.

In collaboration with Fogarty’s Center for Global Health Studies, Collins helped lead a writers’ workshop that resulted in five manuscripts published by PLOS Medicine that address the evidence and need for integration of mental health care into existing service delivery systems.

Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass hailed Collins for her visionary leadership. “We are grateful to Pamela for elevating mental health as a global issue, and for helping us cultivate a new generation of neuroscientists with experience collaborating internationally.”

Prior to joining NIMH, Collins was an assistant professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University in New York. Her work there focused on mental health and the psychosocial aspects of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. She has also examined the global issue of stigma surrounding mental illness, and how ethnicity affects a woman's HIV risk.

In addition to serving as director of global mental health at UW, Collins will have a joint appointment as professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Global Health.

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