Research plays a vital role in the understanding of the causes of mental illnesses, the development of treatments and preventive strategies, and the promotion of mental health. Research also provides information about how to effectively organize and structure the delivery of services for mental disorders, including substance abuse. To a greater extent than ever before, research informs public and private sector policies that affect persons with mental disorders and their families, as well as mental health care providers, insurers, and agencies at all levels of government.

APA's reasearch contributes to the science of psychiatric practice and mental health policy and aims to

  • conduct clinical and health services research to bridge the gap between research and practice and to inform health policy
  • enhance research capacities to improve the quality of psychiatric care
  • identify scientific opportunities and stimulate research in psychiatry to further our understanding of mental and behavioral disorders across the lifespan

APA generates services and health policy research through its Psychiatric Practice Research group; produces evidenced-based quality indicators of practice, which help members maintain certification and meet licensing standards; and researches psychiatric workforce patterns. Finally, the division supports psychiatric research careers through research career distinction awards and the annual Research Colloquium for young investigators at the APA Annual Meeting.