The continued expansion of the Healthy Brain Network and its mission to freely share data and spark discovery will soon mean big news for the Child Mind Institute research program, New York City families and researchers around the globe.

In addition to our Staten Island Research Center, we’re now seeing participants and providing free mental health and learning evaluations in Midtown and Brooklyn. The Staten Island office is expanding, our mobile research vehicle is active in Brooklyn and our midtown satellite at Child Mind Institute main office is up and running. But this doesn’t just help more New Yorkers with evaluations and treatment recommendations; it also means that we’re collecting more data that researchers worldwide will be able to use — freely — to find tomorrow’s mental health tests and treatments.

This expansion in the collection of data that is critical to bettering our understanding of the brain, how mental health and learning disorders work in the brain, and how we can better identify and treat these disorders. And a huge part of moving towards those discoveries and the application of our knowledge is sharing — “open science.” That’s how we get information in front of researchers across the world so we can collaborate massively and openly and encourage new ways of looking at the data.

The Healthy Brian Network is planning its first release of data later this year. Meanwhile, Cameron Craddock, the Child Mind Institute’s director of imaging, just organized a communal brainstorm called a BrainHack in Switzerland to explore how to build tools and protocols so data and discoveries are instantly translatable to researchers everywhere. Check out more info about BrainHack and the Neuro Bureau, which promotes open neuroscience.

And last month, a landmark of collaborative data collection and sharing took shape with the release of ABIDE II — the second dataset of the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange. A collaboration between the Child Mind Institute, NYU and the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, with the help of Michael Milham, MD, PhD, director of CMI’s Center for the Developing Brain. You can read more about ABIDE II here.

Sharing data will lead to the treatment discoveries of the future, a central goal of the Child Mind Institute research program. But, as the Healthy Brain Network shows, collecting that data can also give kids and families access to the help they deserve today. Answers to frequently asked questions and information on signing up is available at the Healthy Brain Network website.