Current Activities

Training & Technical Assistance

Policies & Programs to Support Parents with Psychiatric Disabilities

Parenting is a test in the best of circumstances, but parents with psychiatric disabilities face particularly daunting challenges, often undertaken with little or no support. This Technical Assistance project will promote the adoption of an online training program for parents with psychiatric disabilities. Additionally, this project aims to frame effective state custody laws for parents with psychiatric disabilities.

Development of a Community Inclusion Implementation Consortium

This consortium will consist of state, county, program, and consumer partners to develop a series of tools and processes that leaders in the field can use to drive local community inclusion implementation initiatives. The goal is to produce a ‘suite’ of resources that can readily be used to provide community inclusion advocates with the planning and development tools they need to: 1) assess the congruence of current policies/programs/practices with community living and participation goals; 2) initiate changes in mental health policies/programs/practices – at a pilot level and later more broadly – that promote community inclusion; 3) develop the tools and skills to work effectively with individuals and organizations in the community; and 4) evaluate the success of new policies/programs/practices in the lives of service recipients.

Knowledge Translation

Promoting Community Living and Participation Policies within the Affordable Care Act

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act into law, many individuals with psychiatric disabilities will receive coverage through expanded Medicaid or through the insurance marketplace. While coverage is important and can help improve access to health care, the assurance that coverage will also include the provision of services that promote community inclusion is less clear. Therefore, with this KT project, we will work to develop trainings and materials to increase incorporation of community living and participation policies in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and county-level initiatives.

Promoting Environments that Increase Opportunities for Intimacy and Sexual Expression

Relational intimacy and sexual expression are a part of the human experience. However, mental health practitioners are often uncomfortable approaching this topic with consumers. This KT project focuses on the development of trainings and materials to impact agency policies and counselor attitudes and skills pertaining to intimacy and sexual expression.

Developing Welcoming Work Environments in Academic and Mental Health Agency Settings

‘Welcoming work environments’ are defined here as employment settings in which individuals are able to disclose a current or past psychiatric disability both with an expectation of needed support on-the-job and without fear of negative workplace consequences. Many of those with psychiatric disabilities continue to avoid disclosing a psychiatric disability at work. This training project seeks to create welcoming, supportive work environments for two novel subpopulations of those with psychiatric disabilities: college faculty; and mental health providers in non-peer roles.

Training Certified Peer Specialists in Disaster Preparedness

There was a growing concern in the aftermath of manmade and natural disasters in the 1990s that those with physical and/or psychiatric disabilities had not been adequately supported as part of the nation’s response. One key issue is the lack of pre-disaster planning and/or post-disaster services for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. This KT project focuses on the development of trainings and materials to create a role for certified peer specialists in disaster preparedness.