M. Audrey Burnam

M. Audrey Burnam
Adjunct Principal Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in social psychology, University of Texas at Austin; B.A. in psychology, University of Arizona

Media Resources

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Audrey Burnam is an adjunct principal researcher at the RAND Corporation. She has been conducting mental health and substance abuse research for more than 30 years and has directed studies to understand the epidemiology of mental health and substance abuse problems and to evaluate delivery of services for persons with these problems. Relevant research includes an experimental evaluation of integrated mental health and substance abuse services for homeless persons with serious mental illness; an evaluation of benefit parity for mental health and substance abuse benefits as part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; an evaluation of community mental health organizations that integrated primary care and mental health care for adults with severe mental illness under a federal grant program; and an evaluation of California's statewide mental health programs for prevention and early intervention. Burnam received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Previous Positions

Manager, Behavioral and Social Sciences Group; Director, Center for Research in Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health, RAND Health; Codirector, RAND Drug Policy Research Center

Recent Projects

  • Integrated primary and behavioral health care
  • Behavioral health benefit parity
  • Mental health care for military servicemembers and veterans
  • Treatment of teen depression in primary care settings
  • California mental health prevention and early intervention

Selected Publications

Eberhart, Nicole K., M. Audrey Burnam, Rachana Seelam, Olena Bogdan, and Joshua Breslau, Monitoring Californians' Mental Health: Population Surveillance Reveals Gender, Racial/Ethnic, Age, and Regional Disparities, RAND Corporation (RR-2060), 2018

McBain, Ryan K., Nicole K. Eberhart, Joshua Breslau, Lori Frank, M. Audrey Burnam, Vishnupriya Kareddy, and Molly M. Simmons, How to Transform the U.S. Mental Health System: Evidence-Based Recommendations, RAND Corporation (RR-A889-1), 2021

Burnam, M.A., Meredith, L.M., Tanielian, T., & Jaycox, L.H., "Mental health care for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans," Health Affairs, 28(3), 2009

Watkins, K.E., Burnam, M.A., Orlando, M. Escarce, J.J., Huskamp, H.A., & Goldman, H.H., "The health value and cost of care for major depression," Value in Health, 12, 2009

Edelen, M.O., Burnam, M.A., Watkins, K.E., Escarce, J.J., Huscamp, H., Goldman, H.H., & Rachelefsky, G.G., "Obtaining utility estimates of the health value of commonly prescribed treatments for asthma and depression," Medical Decision Making, 28, 2008

Isett, K.R., Burnam, M.A., Coleman-Beattie B., Hyde P.S., Morrissey J.P., Magnabosco J.L., et al., "The role of state mental health authorities in managing change for the implementation of evidence-based practices," Community Mental Health Journal, 44(3), 2008

Burnam, M.A., & Watkins, K.E., "Substance abuse with mental disorders: Specialized public systems and integrated care," Health Affairs, 25(3), 2006

Joyce, G.F., Chan, K.S., Orlando M., & Burnam, M.A., "Mental health status and use of general medical services for persons with Human Immunodeficiency Virus," Medical Care, 43(8), 2005