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.
Depression; bipolar disorder; suicide prevention; self-management; treatment adherence
Comorbidity of mental health conditions with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and substance use disorders.
Shortreed SM, Simon GE. Using predictive analytics to improve pragmatic trial design. Clin Trials. 2020 Aug;17(4):394-401. doi: 10.1177/1740774520910367. Epub 2020 Mar 10. PubMed
Richards JE, Shortreed SM, Simon GE, Penfold RB, Glass JE, Ziebell R, Williams EC. Association between patterns of alcohol use and short-term risk of suicide attempt among patients with and without reported suicidal ideation. J Addict Med. 2020 Mar 5. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000637. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Lynch FL, Peterson EL, Lu CY, Hu Y, Rossom RC, Waitzfelder BE, Owen-Smith AA, Hubley S, Prabhakar D, Keoki Williams L, Beck A, Simon GE, Ahmedani BK. Substance use disorders and risk of suicide in a general US population: a case control study. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2020 Feb 21;15(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s13722-020-0181-1. PubMed
Owen-Smith A, Stewart C, Sesay MM, Strasser SM, Yarborough BJ, Ahmedani B, Miller-Matero LR, Waring SC, Haller IV, Waitzfelder BE, Sterling SA, Campbell CI, Hechter RC, Zeber JE, Copeland LA, Scherrer JF, Rossom R, Simon G. Chronic pain diagnoses and opioid dispensings among insured individuals with serious mental illness. BMC Psychiatry. 2020 Jan 31;20(1):40. doi: 10.1186/s12888-020-2456-1. PubMed
Simon GE, Yarborough BJ. Good news: artificial intelligence in psychiatry is actually neither. Psychiatr Serv. 2020 Jan 8:appips201900464. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201900464. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Coley RY, Boggs JM, Beck A, Hartzler AL, Simon GE. Defining success in measurement-based care for depression: a comparison of common metrics. Psychiatr Serv. 2019 Dec 18:appips201900295. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201900295. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Richards JE, Shortreed SM, Simon GE, Penfold RB, Glass JE, Ziebell R, Williams EC. Short-term risk of suicide attempt associated with patterns of patient-reported alcohol use determined by routine AUDIT-C among adults receiving mental healthcare. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2020 Jan-Feb;62:79-86. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2019.12.002. Epub 2019 Dec 18. PubMed
Simon GE, Shortreed SM, Rossom RC, Penfold RB, Sperl-Hillen JAM, O'Connor P. Principles and procedures for data and safety monitoring in pragmatic clinical trials. Trials. 2019 Dec 9;20(1):690. doi: 10.1186/s13063-019-3869-3. PubMed
Boggs JM, Lindrooth RC, Battaglia C, Beck A, Ritzwoller DP, Ahmedani BK, Rossom RC, Lynch FL, Lu CY, Waitzfelder BE, Owen-Smith AA, Simon GE, Anderson HD. Association between suicide death and concordance with benzodiazepine treatment guidelines for anxiety and sleep disorders. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2019 Nov 17;62:21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2019.11.005. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Coleman KJ, Yarborough BJ, Beck A, Lynch FL, Stewart C, Penfold RS, Hunkeler EM, Operskalski BH, Simon GE. Patterns of health care utilization before first episode psychosis in racial and ethnic groups. Ethn Dis. 2019 Oct 17;29(4):609-616. doi: 10.18865/ed.29.4.609. eCollection 2019 Fall. PubMed
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.
How new processes improved suicide risk identification when mental health visits went virtual.
Medscape, Feb. 12, 2021