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.
Richards JE, Simon GE, Boggs JM, Beidas R, Yarborough BJH, Coleman KJ, Sterling SA, Beck A, Flores JP, Bruschke C, Grumet JG, Stewart CC, Schoenbaum M, Westphal J, Ahmedani BK. An implementation evaluation of "Zero Suicide" using normalization process theory to support high-quality care for patients at risk of suicide. Implement Res Pract. 2021 Jan 1;2:10.1177/26334895211011769. doi: 10.1177/26334895211011769. Epub 2021 May 24. PubMed
Coley RY, Walker RL, Cruz M, Simon GE, Shortreed SM. Clinical risk prediction models and informative cluster size: assessing the performance of a suicide risk prediction algorithm. Biom J. 2021 Oct;63(7):1375-1388. doi: 10.1002/bimj.202000199. Epub 2021 May 24. PubMed
Simon GE, Platt R, Watanabe JH, Bindman AB, London AJ, Horberg M, Hernandez A, Califf RM. When can we rely on real-world evidence to evaluate new medical treatments? Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Jan;111(1):30-34. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2253. Epub 2021 May 19. PubMed
Richards JE, Hohl SD, Segal CD, Grossman DC, Lee AK, Whiteside U, Luce C, Ludman EJ, Simon G, Penfold RB, Williams EC. "What will happen if I say yes?" perspectives on a standardized firearm access question among adults with depressive symptoms. Psychiatr Serv.2021 Aug 1;72(8):898-904. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000187. Epub 2021 May 4. PubMed
Watanabe JH, Simon GE, Horberg M, Platt R, Hernandez A, Califf RM. When are treatment blinding and treatment standardization necessary in real-world clinical trials? Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Jan;111(1):116-121. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2256. Epub 2021 May 2. PubMed
Coley RY, Johnson E, Simon GE, Cruz M, Shortreed SM. Racial/ethnic disparities in the performance of prediction models for death by suicide after mental health visits. JAMA Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 28:e210493. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0493. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Hecht LM, Yeh HH, Braciszewski JM, Miller-Matero LR, Thakrar A, Patel S, Simon GE, Lynch FL, Beck A, Owen-Smith AA, Rossom RC, Waitzfelder BE, Lu CY, Boggs JM, Ahmedani BK. Weighing the association between BMI change and suicide mortality. Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Apr 22:appips202000475. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000475. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Simon GE, Stewart CC, Gary MC, Richards JE. Detecting and assessing suicide ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021 Apr 22:S1553-7250(21)00095-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2021.04.002. Online ahead of print. PubMed
Whiteside U, Richards J, Simon GE. Brief interventions via electronic health record messaging for population-based suicide prevention: mixed methods pilot study. JMIR Form Res. 2021;5(4):e21127. doi: 10.2196/21127. PubMed
Franklin JM, Platt R, Dreyer NA, London AJ, Simon GE, Watanabe JH, Horberg M, Hernandez A, Califf RM. When can nonrandomized studies support valid inference regarding effectiveness or safety of new medical treatments? Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Apr 7. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2255. [Epub ahead of print]. 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