M. Audrey Burnam (PhD, Social Psychology, University of Texas at Austin), is a Senior Behavioral Scientist at RAND who has conducted mental health and substance abuse research for over 30 years. She has served as Director of the RAND Health Center for Research on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Co-Director of RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center, and Manager of RAND’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Group. She has directed numerous studies to understand the epidemiology of mental health and substance abuse disorders and delivery of services for persons with these disorders; and studies to evaluate behavioral health programs and policies. She was a member of the MacArthur Network on Mental Health Policy Research, active for a decade, in which she led studies examining equity in value of behavioral health relative to general medical care, evaluated the state role in implementation of evidence-based practices in community mental health organizations, examined the evidence base for treatment of individuals with dual mental and substance abuse disorders, and developed and tested tools to routinely monitor quality of psychotherapy in usual mental health specialty care settings. She current leads a study to evaluate statewide mental health prevention and early intervention initiatives funded through the State of California’s Mental Health Services Act.
She recently completed directing an evaluation of the Primary and Behavioral Healthcare Integration Program – a grant program that is being implemented by 56 community behavioral health organizations throughout the United States. She was also a key investigator on a study related to mental health parity implementation.