Greg Simon, MD, MPH, is a psychiatrist and senior investigator well-known for his extensive research on practical approaches to improving mental health care. He seeks to develop and evaluate effective real-world strategies that support better mental health and wellness. Current areas of emphasis include identifying and assessing suicide risk, improving care for treatment-resistant depression, and early intervention for mental health conditions in children and youth.
Dr. Simon leads the Mental Health Research Network (MHRN), a consortium of research centers affiliated with 13 large health systems across the United States, including Kaiser Permanente Washington. This network, funded through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Mental Health, aims to improve the efficiency, relevance, and impact of mental health clinical and health services research. Now in its second five-year funding cycle, the MHRN is exploring a broad range of issues—including suicide prevention, improving heart health in people with serious mental illness, using electronic medical records to improve follow-up care for depression, and understanding the causes of racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care.
Dr. Simon and his MHRN colleagues are conducting several large studies across MHRN health systems, including:
Dr. Simon is an editor for the Cochrane Collaboration’s depression and anxiety review group, sits on the editorial board for General Hospital Psychiatry, and serves on the advisory board for the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Program (formerly Precision Medicine Initiative). Earlier, he served on the editorial boards of Psychiatric Services and Psychological Medicine and chaired the scientific advisory board for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Dr. Simon has practiced adult psychiatry in Kaiser Permanente Washington's Mental Health and Wellness Service since 1990 and is a research professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington.
Simon GE, Richards JE, Whiteside U. Reframing the key questions regarding screening for suicide risk. JAMA. 2023 Jun 20;329(23):2026-2027. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.7241. PubMed
Loree AM, Hecht LM, Yeh HH, Gavrilova L, Furman K, Westphal J, Simon GE, Lynch FL, Beck A, Owen-Smith A, Rossom R, Daida YG, Lu CY, Boggs JM, Frank C, Waring S, Ahmedani BK. Factors associated with suicide mortality among reproductive age women: a case-control study. J Reprod Infant Psychol. 2023 Jun 13:1-12. doi: 10.1080/02646838.2023.2223636. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Sala-Hamrick KJ, Braciszewski JM, Yeh HH, Zelenak L, Westphal J, Beebani G, Frank C, Simon GE, Owen-Smith AA, Rossom RC, Lynch F, Lu CY, Waring SC, Harry ML, Beck A, Daida YG, Ahmedani BK. Diagnosed posttraumatic stress disorder and other trauma-associated stress disorders and risk for suicide mortality. Psychiatr Serv. 2023 May 5;appips202100244. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202100244. Online ahead of print. PubMed
Harry ML, Sanchez K, Ahmedani BK, Beck AL, Coleman KJ, Coley RY, Daida YG, Lynch FL, Rossom RC, Waring SC, Simon GE. Assessing the differential item functioning of PHQ-9 items for diverse racial and ethnic adults with mental health and/or substance use disorder diagnoses: A retrospective cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2023 Oct 1;338:402-413. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2023.04.091. Epub 2023 Apr 29. PubMed
Shortreed SM, Walker RL, Johnson E, Wellman R, Cruz M, Ziebell R, Coley RY, Yaseen ZS, Dharmarajan S, Penfold RB, Ahmedani BK, Rossom RC, Beck A, Boggs JM, Simon GE. Complex modeling with detailed temporal predictors does not improve health records-based suicide risk prediction. NPJ Digit Med. 2023;6(1):47. doi: 10.1038/s41746-023-00772-4. PubMed
Owen-Smith A, McDonald B, Sesay MM, Simon G, McCracken C. Depression treatment initiation among patients with versus without chronic pain. Psychosom Med. 2023 Apr 1;85(3):260-265. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000001184. Epub 2023 Feb 26. PubMed
Hirschtritt ME, Howard CA, Simon GE. Fulfilling the goals of 988 through crisis stabilization care. Psychiatr Serv. 2023 Jan 31;appips20220503. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.20220503. Online ahead of print. PubMed
Geissler KH, Ericson KM, Simon GE, Qian J, Zeber JE. Differences in insurance coverage for individuals with schizophrenia after implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. JAMA Psychiatry. 2023 Mar 1;80(3):278-279. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.4628. PubMed
Braciszewski JM, Lanier A, Yeh HH, Sala-Hamrick K, Simon GE, Rossom RC, Lynch FL, Waring SC, Lu CY, Owen-Smith AA, Beck A, Daida YG, Maye M, Frank C, Hendriks M, Fabian N, Ahmedani BK. Health diagnoses and service utilization in the year before youth and young adult suicide. Psychiatr Serv. 2023 Jun 1;74(6):566-573. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.20220145. Epub 2022 Nov 9. PubMed
Richards JE, Kuo ES, Whiteside U, Shulman L, Betz ME, Parrish R, Boggs JM, Rowhani-Rahbar A, Simon GE. Patient and clinician perspectives of a standardized question about firearm access to support suicide prevention: a qualitative study. JAMA Health Forum. 2022 Nov 4;3(11):e224252. doi: 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2022.4252. PubMed
KPWHRI researchers are contributing to better mental health care for people nationwide.
Models that are easier to explain, use could have better uptake in health care settings.
Findings provide roadmap for addressing barriers and improving suicide prevention.
Kaiser Permanente physician-scientist will receive American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Lifesavers Research Award.
STAT News, May 2, 2023