September 23, 2020

A Message from the Director

Richard Smith, M.D.Dear Friends of the Psychiatric Research Institute,

Since I wrote to you last in this forum, COVID-19 has consumed much of our lives; thus, this issue of Mind Matters will be primarily about the pandemic and its effects on mental health and substance abuse as well as some suggestions on how to cope with this once-in-a-lifetime event.

During the pandemic, PRI has continued to be very busy. Within two weeks of the waiver of regulatory limits, the PRI team converted all our clinics to virtual clinics that instantly became busier than ever. Our inpatient and interventional services have navigated lots of hurdles regarding coronavirus spread and have been back up to speed for a number of months. Our education programs are going full speed ahead with a projected 17 or 18 medical school seniors choosing psychiatry as a discipline (probably a record for us and for many medical schools). In-person research paused a bit in the beginning of the pandemic; however, research teams stayed home, wrote grant applications, and wrote papers. Now all our research programs are back on line. Their productivity during this “down time” has been phenomenal.

What has fallen off has been our contact with you, our readers and supporters.  We have now re-organized our communication strategy to better connect with you during what looks like a very protracted pandemic. In the coming months, you will be hearing from us about virtual learning opportunities, more contact via e-mail and video and more frequent Mind Matters.  We hope you will return the favor and stay in touch with us, we would love to hear from you and stay in contact.  Let’s connect!

Be well, be safe and best wishes,
Dr. Smith's signature