Mental Health

“Our research leads the way in designing and testing innovative ways to bring mental health and wellness to more people who haven’t always been offered effective and convenient care.”

Evette J. Ludman, PhD
Group Health Research Institute Senior Research Associate

Research overview

Mental health is a vital part of overall health. But traditional mental health care reaches only a fraction of the millions who could benefit. So researchers at Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) are finding practical, patient-centered ways to reach people affected by conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.

“Many of the ideas that are changing American mental health care were first tested here at Group Health,” says Gregory Simon MD, MPH, senior investigator at GHRI and a Group Health psychiatrist. “We’re now working to spread those innovations to large health systems across the country.”

“We emphasize that people living with psychological problems are not defined by their condition,” says Senior Research Associate Evette J. Ludman, PhD. “We go beyond the traditional focus on resolving symptoms and help people harness their motivation to achieve a healthier life.”

Innovative patient-centered mental health programs developed at GHRI include:

  • collaborative care to integrate depression mental health care with general medical care;
  • flexible, patient-centered psychotherapy programs organized around peoples’ preferences and values and delivered online or by phone;
  • depression programs tailored for people with other health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, obesity);
  • using technology such as the Internet and secure email for outreach and care coordination;
  • outreach to reduce the risk of self-harm or suicide attempts;
  • improving physical health in people with severe mental health problems;
  • combining peer support with professional treatment for mood disorders;
  • broadening the focus of mental health treatment from symptom management to recovery;
  • activating mental health patients to be more knowledgeable and assertive;
  • reducing use of high-risk medications in both children and older adults; and
  • collaborating with health systems through the national Mental Health Research Network to systematically measure and improve outcomes of care.

“We are partnering with health care leaders at Group Health and other health systems to test innovative programs and implement treatments that work,” Dr. Simon says. “We want ‘learning health care system’ to be more than a slogan.” 

Recent publications on Mental Health

Simon GE. Study suggests incidence of first-onset psychosis may exceed prior estimates. Psychiatric News, 2017.

Simon GE, Coleman KJ, Yarborough BJ, Operskalski B, Stewart C, Hunkeler EM, Lynch F, Carrell D, Beck A. First presentation with psychotic symptoms in a population-based sample. Psychiatr Serv. 2017 Jan 3:appips201600257. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201600257. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Dimidjian S, Goodman SH, Sherwood NE, Simon GE, Ludman E, Gallop R, Welch SS, Boggs JM, Metcalf CA, Hubley S, Powers JD, Beck A. A pragmatic randomized clinical trial of behavioral activation for depressed pregnant women. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2017;85(1):26-36. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000151. PubMed

Scott K, Klech D, Lewis CC, Simons AD. What Did They Learn? Effects of a Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workshop on Community Therapists' Knowledge. Community Ment Health J. 2016;52(8):998-1003. Epub 2015 Apr 18. PubMed

Laing SS, Jones SM. Anxiety and depression mediate the relationship between perceived workplace health support and presenteeism: a cross-sectional analysis. J Occup Environ Med. 2016;58(11):1144-1149. PubMed

Researchers in Mental Health

Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2979
simon.g@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Michael R. Von Korff, ScD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2874
vonkorff.m@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Elizabeth H. Lin, MD, MPH

Adjunct Researcher, GHRI; Group Health Physician
206-287-4264
lin.e@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Evette J. Ludman, PhD

Senior Research Associate
206-287-2917
ludman.e@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Ben Balderson, PhD

Research Associate
206-287-2803
balderson.b@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katharine A. Bradley, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2151
bradley.k@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

David C. Grossman, MD, MPH

Sr Investigator, GHRI; Group Health Executive Med Dir, Population & Purchaser Strategy, Health Plan
206-287-2948
grossman.d@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH

Associate Medical Director for Research and Translation
206-884-8241
lozano.p@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer B. McClure, PhD

Director of Research, Faculty, & Development; Senior Investigator
206-287-2737
mcclure.j@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Robert Penfold, PhD

Associate Investigator
206-287-2232
penfold.r@ghc.org

Karen J. Sherman, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2426
sherman.k@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Susan M. Shortreed, PhD

Associate Investigator
206-287-2088
shortreed.s@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Dori E. Rosenberg, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2532
rosenberg.d@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Gwen Lapham, PhD, MPH, MSW

Research Associate
206-287-2021
lapham.g@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer F. Bobb, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2190
bobb.j@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Cara C. Lewis, PhD, HSPP

Associate Investigator
206-442-4076
lewis.cc@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Joseph E. Glass, PhD

Assistant Scientific Investigator
206-287-4266
glass.j@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Kai Yeung, PharmD, PhD

Scientific Investigator
(206) 287-2063
yeung.k@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Julie E. Richards, MPH

Research Associate II
206-287-2100
richards.je@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Affiliate researchers in mental health

Paul Crane, MD, MPH
Professor, Internal Medicine
University of Washington

Laura P. Richardson, MD, MPH
Adolescent Medicine
Seattle Children's Hospital
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Washington

Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH
Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, 
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington

Emily Williams, PhD, MPH
Investigator
Health Services Research & Development
VA Puget Sound Health Care System