Nasser Arshadi, vice provost for research at UMSL, will oversee the Missouri Institute of Mental Health.

A new partnership between the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health will provide greater benefits for the region as MIMH becomes an important new research, mental health and social services arm of the university, officials announced today. Linking the two institutions will capitalize on their proximity, compatible missions and strengths to enhance mental health and social services for Missourians. UMSL’s administrative responsibility for MIMH took effect on Sept. 1.

“The possibilities of this venture are endless,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George said. “The University of Missouri–St. Louis can deploy its developmental skill and its many collaborative networks with other universities and institutions to expand opportunities for MIMH. Capitalizing on our mutual strengths will further the vital mission of MIMH and provide a great service to the St. Louis region, Missouri and the greater Midwest. Joining MIMH and UMSL is the definition of synergy and practicality.”

Under the new arrangement, UMSL and MIMH will expand formal collaboration on research and outreach projects on a variety of subjects, including substance abuse prevention and treatment, mental health promotion and treatment, mental health and substance abuse recovery, suicide prevention, violence prevention, behavioral health, epidemiology and health literacy.

Keith Schafer, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, believes the partnership will be greatly productive.

“We are pleased and excited to have UMSL as our new partner in furthering the MIMH mission to promote and improve mental health research and services for Missourians,” Schafer said.

Joseph Parks, distinguished professor of science and director of MIMH, agrees the merger will be a fruitful one.

“St. Louis is a hub of collaboration in scientific research,” Parks said. “Our new affiliation with UMSL – given its great faculty and education partnerships – will enhance our ability to become more fully integrated and earn a growing position at the center of that vital research and service dynamic.”

Nasser Arshadi, vice provost for research at UMSL, said the genesis of this affiliation started with long-standing relationships between faculty at UMSL and the researchers at MIMH.

“It was really this longtime relationship that allowed us to explore a more formal relationship that will serve the St. Louis region and state over the long term,” Arshadi said.

Because of these established relationships, UMSL and MIMH researchers already have many additional projects in the pipeline.

“MIMH has consistently been one of the leading behavioral science research institutions in the state of Missouri,” said Marvin Berkowitz, the Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education and co-director of the Center for Character and Citizenship at UMSL. “Our Center for Character and Citizenship has worked with them in a variety of ways, serving as consultants for each other, providing information about grant opportunities to each other, providing personnel for various projects, etc. We are thrilled that this high quality research institution and its impressive faculty, staff and other resources are joining the UMSL family.”

Robert Harris, professor of psychology and director of community psychological service at UMSL, said MIMH has provided numerous training opportunities for UMSL doctoral students.

“These research-intensive positions have helped to launch the careers of some very capable research psychologists,” Harris said. “Other collaborations have included co-sponsoring low-cost continuing education seminars for community professionals.”

The Missouri Institute of Mental Health is dedicated to providing research, evaluation, policy and training expertise to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, other state agencies, service provider agencies, and other organizations and individuals seeking information related to mental health and other related policy areas. Located in St. Louis, MIMH consists of 100 researchers and staff generating $6.5 million in research grants.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis is a public metropolitan research university located in Missouri’s most populous and economically important region. UMSL provides exceptional learning experiences and leadership opportunities to a diverse student body through the university’s outstanding faculty, ranked programs, innovative research and community partnerships. The university includes over 16,500 students served by 2,500 faculty and staff.

Bob Samples

Bob Samples

Bob Samples is associate vice chancellor for university communications at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens

Biology student James Ott and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla pull weeds last week in the native gardens north of the Recreation Wellness Center.