WeSearchTogether, a partnership between the University of Michigan Depression Center (UMDC) and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), announces the launch of a website devoted to connecting mental health researchers and participants: www.WeSearchTogether.org.
More than 21 million Americans live with depression or bipolar disorder, yet many of these individuals receive less than effective care. Research seeks to address this issue by answering fundamental questions about early detection, treatment, and prevention of mood disorders. Yet these researchers often struggle to engage adequate numbers of participants in their work, which greatly hinders the progress of discovery.
“WeSearchTogether.org will help foster communication and trust between potential participants in research – many of whom have legitimate questions about getting involved – and researchers. By working together, we will improve lives,” explained John Greden, M.D., executive director of the UMDC and founding chair of the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC).
WeSearchTogether.org has created a unique forum for communication between participants and researchers and highlights the latest clinical trials and research advancements within the mental health field. It also offers detailed information on research participation, provides testimonials from study participants and researchers, and allows people to browse study listings and be matched with specific research participation opportunities.
To help direct the focus of WeSearchTogether, the UMDC and DBSA established a diverse, multidisciplinary Consumer-Researcher Steering Council to ensure the project includes equal representation and commitment by both people living with mood disorders and researchers.
“We are proud to partner with the UMDC in a groundbreaking research effort that relies on the shared commitment and wisdom of both individuals living with mood disorders and the researchers who play a critical role in supporting our recovery. WeSearchTogether lays the groundwork to promote meaningful research, responsive to the needs and concerns of people living with mood disorders, on a national level,” said DBSA President Allen Doederlein. DBSA is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder.
Researchers at U-M and elsewhere are encouraged to add their studies needing participants to the WeSearchTogether clearinghouse; visit the WeSearchTogether.org website to learn more.