Clinical research studies and clinical trials have play a vital role in finding new and effective treatments. When you participate in a clinical research study aimed at treating mental illness, you are helping in finding better ways to prevent, detect or treat mental health conditions. You may receive free treatment or therapy and even be paid for your participation.  Read more about clinical research and current opportunities in the Bay Area.


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About Mental Health Clinical Research and Studies

What is clinical research?

Clinical research refers to studies in which people participate as patients or volunteers. Different terms are used to describe clinical research, including clinical studies, clinical trials, studies, research, trials, and protocols. Clinical research may have a number of goals, such as developing new treatments or medications, identifying causes of illness, studying trends, or evaluating ways in which genetics may be related to an illness. The study volunteers can be people with diagnosed mental illness or healthy participants with no history of mental illness.

Strict rules for clinical studies have been put in place by NIH and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some studies involve promising new treatments that may directly benefit participants. Others do not directly benefit participants, but may help scientists learn better ways to help people.

For more information refer to NIH Publication No. 08-4379

Why Participate in Clinical Research?

Clinical research studies and clinical trials have play a vital role in finding new and effective treatments. When you participate in a clinical research study aimed at treating mental illness, you are helping in finding better ways to prevent, detect or treat mental health conditions.

Being part of clinical research gives you access to latest treatment options, medical examinations under the careful supervision of physicians and research team who are experts in that particular area of medicine. Some of the studies may also provide compensation for time and travel to the study to the research volunteers. Be aware that participating in the study does not ensure that you will receive the latest treatment. You could be part of the placebo group, or there may be unfavorable side-effects. However, since you are under the care of a dedicated team, you will be educated and quickly treated if there are any undesirable side-effects.

Choosing to take part in clinical research is an important personal decision. Your decision to participate will depend on your interests, needs, and expectations about research.

Confidentiality is an important part of clinical research and ensures that personal information is seen only by those authorized to have access. It also means that the personal identity and all medical information of clinical trial participants is known only to the individual patient and researchers. Results from a study will usually be presented only in terms of trends or overall findings and will not mention specific participants.

People sometimes think that participating in a study will require changes to their current treatment, but this is not always the case. Though some studies may require participants to try new medications or treatments, other studies use techniques such as brain scans, psychological tests, behavioral observation, or blood tests for genetic evaluation. Such studies may not require any change in treatment.
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Where to find Clinical Research in the San Francisco Bay Area

There are many opportunities to participate in clinical research in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the studies may also offer some compensation for participation. Below are links to some of the schools and institutions that have current clinical trials that are open and seeking volunteers.

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 List of Current Research Studies

Want to know how clinical research trials work?  The attached flyer from the National Institute of Mental Health lists questions and answers about these trials.

Paid UCSF Study: For Adolescents Ages 12-18 years with Anorexia Nervosa

A research study conducted by UCSF for adolescents with anorexia and their families. The participants will receive free evidence-based FTP treatment and $50 on completion of the study. Flyer Who can participate? Adolescents ages 12 -18 Current Diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa Able to speak English Living with at least one parent Medically stable for outpatient treatment…

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Paid UCSF Study – Oxytocin Study For Adults With Schizophrenia

In this study, investigators will examine the effects of oxytocin on behavior and social cognition in patients with schizophrenia. This study is focused on identifying whether intranasal oxytocin administration can serve as an adjunct treatment for social impairments in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. To join the study, click HERE. YOU CAN JOIN IF… Open…

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Paid Stanford Study – For Adults having Bipolar Disorder

This study is looking at the effects of suvorexant (belsomra) an insomnia medication that is currently FDA approved and how it interacts/helps people with Bipolar Disorder who are suffering from insomnia. This study can be found on under the identifier NCT02527564. Participants can earn up to $175 for completing 6 study visits over the…

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Paid Research Study – UC Berkeley Anger Study in Teens

UC Berkeley is conducting a study on teens ages 15 -18 years old who are concerned about their anger. In this study, the participants will take part in a new brief program to learn coping skills to manage their anger. These treatments are free and may be compensated for upto $65. It requires a minimum…

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Paid Research Study – For Individuals Age 18-55 with Schizophrenia

Yoon Lab, a VA-Stanford joint lab researching schizophrenia and psychosis is looking for individuals between the ages of 18 and 55 to participate in a paid research study seeking to discover the brain changes associated with schizophrenia. The Yoon Lab seeks to discover the brain mechanisms responsible for several types of mental illness and to…

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Paid Stanford Study – Adolescent Depression and Stress

Stanford Neurodevelopment, Affect, and Psychopathology Lab (SNAP Lab) is conducting paid research studies that is looking into the biological link between stress and depression in teenagers. If your child is between ages 13-17 years and experiencing sad or irritable moods, lost interest in activities, they may eligible for this study. *** update: only teenage boys…

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Stanford Study – For Children of Parents with Bipolar Disorder

Are you a parent with a diagnosis of Bipolar and have concerns about your child’s moods and their functioning at home & school? You and your child may be eligible to participate in a study conducted by Stanford Pediatric Emotional And Resilience Lab. For more information, Call Yvonne, at 650-497-4668 or fill out our survey HERE

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Stanford Study – For Treatment-Resistant Depression

The Stanford University Brain Stimulation Lab & Depression Research Clinic are recruiting patients with treatment-resistant depression. Current Research studies include : Use of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Augment Hypnotic Analgesia: If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and are interested in participating, please fill out our quick survey to see if you qualify (only…

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