Psychiatry Information in Brief (ISSN 2162-1950) is a journal devoted to the dissemination of behavioral health information. This journal focuses on translating research findings into concise, user-friendly information that is accessible to all. It is is produced by the Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center (iSPARC) in the Department of Psychiatry at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, MA, USA. Read more about Psychiatry Information in Brief


Contact Marsha Langer Ellison, UMass Chan Psychiatry - Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center, Marsha.Ellison@umassmed.edu with your questions.

Recently Published

  • Factors that Influence the Continuous Pursuit of Education, Training, and Employment among Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions

    Sabella, Kathryn (2023-03-10)
    Young adults (ages 18–30) with serious mental health conditions (SMHC) often face challenges in their education, training, and employment pursuits. The study presented in this brief study describes young adult patterns of education, training, and employment activities for individuals with SMHC in the United States and identifies modifiable factors that hinder or facilitate their ability to consistently pursue these activities. Based on first-person narratives from young adults (ages 25–30) with SMHC, these findings should inform psychiatric rehabilitation efforts that support the school, training, and work activities of young adults with SMHC to improve their long-term career trajectories. To learn more about this research project and find additional materials please visit our website: https://www.umassmed.edu/TransitionsACR/research/projects-by-grant/rtc/careerdevSMHC/
  • My “Must Have” Papers [English and Spanish versions]

    Tip sheet for youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions with tips about keeping and protecting important personal records and information. A Spanish translation of this publication is available for download. Originally published as a: Transitions RTC Northeast Massachusetts Community of Practice Tip Sheet, 2011.
  • Why and How Electronic Job Coaches Improve Employment for People with Disabilities

    Sutter, Steve; CeKTER (2023-02-06)
    Even though the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act strengthens federal and state commitments to employing people with disabilities, there remain millions of Americans with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities (ID) who are still unemployed. To succeed in competitive employment, workers with ID require help with memory, task sequence and planning, and time management; skills that are often referred to as executive functioning. Typically, employers do not have the training to manage people with ID with these challenges. This task falls to job coaches, job developers or employment specialists (e.g., providers) and the agencies that provide such services. Without effective and efficient tools to support the executive functioning of individuals with ID, policies that aim to affect their competitive integrated employment can result in an unmanageable burden on the provider. Today’s jobs are more complex. Providers need tools that can help them effectively and efficiently build, record and adjust prompts and instructions as changes occur in real-time. However, they may not have the time and/or the skills required to make clear, accurate instructional prompts for multiple workers with ID in different settings. To identify the needs of employers, providers, and workers with ID, a NIDILRR-funded project collected data from supervisors, employers and providers of employment services to workers with ID. These interviews were used to determine the requirements of an ideal system that would help them better instruct, coach, track progress and manage teams of employees with ID. This brief describes their findings and development of a cloud-based interactive electronic job coaching app that allows emplyment services providers to efficiently convert work assignments into the essential details required by the mobile worker with ID, and then wirelessly transfer the appropriate instructions to the worker’s electronic coach.
  • Adulting Shorts: The "TEA" on IEPs Part 3

    Sudbrock, Emily; Gatesy-Davis, Marina (2022-12-01)
    This info-comic is for high school students to help them understand what an Individualized Educational Plan or IEP is, what transition planning is, and the importance of the student being involved in them. Part 3 focuses on Mateo creating a career goal and steps to reach it. Parts 1 and 2 can be found on our website: https://www.umassmed.edu/TransitionsACR/publication/comic/
  • 3 Tips to Improve Communication with Your Youth & Young Adults

    Family Advisory Board & Young Adult Advisory Board, Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (2022-11-16)
    This tip sheet provides parents and allies of youth and young adults with lived experience of a mental health condition tips be able to improve their connection with them. This tip sheet was developed as a collaboration between the family member and young adult advisory boards that work with the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research. The tips are based on advisory board members’ real experiences.
  • Lost in Transition: The Journey from Pediatric to Adult Care for Youth with Mental Health Conditions

    Hugunin, Julie; Skehan, Brian M. (2022-10-07)
    Nearly one out of three (30.6%) young adults (18–25 years) experience mental illness (NIMH). In the United States suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people. Transition age youth (16–25 years) with mental health conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and psychotic disorders, experience substantial adversity during the shift from pediatric to adult health care. Research by our team has shown that youth with mental health conditions utilize less outpatient care as they emerge into adulthood. These results echo the American Psychiatric Association position statement that transition age youth are “underserved in current mental health systems”. Understanding provider perspectives to caring for this unique patient population may help to increase health care utilization and quality of care for transition age youth with mental health conditions. This product offers providers real-world tips on what they can do to help and advocate for based on our work.
  • Tips to Help People Living with Mental Health Conditions Stop Using Tobacco Products

    Renneburg, Carol; McKay, Colleen E. (2022-10-06)
    Approximately fifty million people living in the U.S. use tobacco products. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the state is smoking. As of 2017, 13.7% of Massachusetts adults were current smokers, with 13.5% of white adults, 15.7% of Black adults, and 18.3% of Hispanic adults reporting smoking cigarettes.1 One study found that an average smoker may attempt to quit 30 or more times before success is achieved with abstinence from smoking for at least one year. This tip sheet provides general and evidence-based tips on how to help individuals living with mental health conditions cease using tobacco products.
  • Adulting Shorts: The “TEA” on IEPs Part 2

    Sudbrock, Emily; Gatesy-Davis, Marina (2022-09-21)
    This info-comic is for high school students to help them understand what an Individualized Educational Plan or IEP is, what transition planning is, and the importance of the student being involved in them. This is Part 2 of the story. Find Part 1 here: https://www.umassmed.edu/TransitionsACR/publication/comic/2021/09/tea-on-ieps-part-1/
  • The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Clubhouse Model

    McKay, Colleen E.; Corcoran, Joel D (2022-06-29)
    The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to the traditional Clubhouse Model of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (Clubhouse). The COVID-19 pandemic forced many Clubhouses around the world to rapidly pivot from face-to-face services and support programs at the Clubhouse to hybrid or virtual services. The Clubhouse community quickly mobilized to establish new structures to maintain connections with Clubhouse members and provide them with essential supports. This brief describes adaptations that Clubhouses made during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also describe supports offered by Clubhouse International to inform their international network about innovative approaches and best practices for Clubhouses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advancing Employment for Secondary Learners with Disabilities through CTE Policy and Practice

    McKay, Colleen E.; Ellison, Marsha Langer; Narkewicz, Emma L (2022-04-28)
    The Data tables for the figures in Advancing Employment for Secondary Learners with Disabilities through CTE Policy and Practice brief are available to download under "Additional Files" below. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V, P.L. 115-224) provides new opportunities for states to serve learners with disabilities in CTE. Perkins V specifies that learners with special population status, including learners with disabilities, need to be prepared for high-wage, high-skill, in-demand employment opportunities or post-secondary education. Perkins V requires state and local leaders to describe how CTE will be made available to learners with special population status and provides flexible funding and policy levers to achieve that goal. Even though Perkins V is in the early stages of implementation (the law went into full effect on July 1, 2020), states can leverage facets of the new law to address the challenges of supporting CTE access and success among learners with disabilities. Perkins V emphasizes supporting learners with special population status, giving states an opportunity to: Build upon prior equity work to provide greater access to CTE among learners with disabilities. To restructure systems and policies to better support these learners. To explore how this opportunity has been used by states in their Perkin V plans, UMass Chan Medical School partnered with Advance CTE to survey State CTE Directors for secondary education. This brief summarizes survey results, provides state examples, and offers policy and programmatic considerations.
  • Creating Welcoming Environments for Workers with Disabilities: Managing Cognitive Demand

    Snethen, Gretchen; CeKTER, UMass Chan (2022-03-08)
    This comic is a collaboration between CeKTER and the Temple University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (ACL grant #’s 90RTCP0001 & # 90RT5021). It is based on work by Gretchen Snethen, PhD, CTRS and colleagues. The comic shows and example of how workers with disabilities can be supported at work. A transcript of the comic is available at https://www.umassmed.edu/globalassets/cekter/docs/transcripts/managing-cognitive-demand-transcript.html. A .png version of the comic is available for download.
  • How to Share Research about Education and Employment with the Deaf Community

    Pici-D’Ottavio, Emma; Wilkins, Alexander; Anderson, Melissa L. (2022-03-07)
    The U.S. Deaf community is a sociolinguistic minority group of at least 500,000 individuals who communicate using American Sign Language (ASL).1 ASL is fully distinct from English – i.e., it is not “English on the hands.” ASL is a natural, formal language with its own syntax, morphology, and structure. Members of the Deaf community identify as members of a cultural minority group with shared language, experience, history, art, and literature. This tip sheet focuses on best practices for sharing research findings with culturally Deaf individuals who primarily use ASL. However, many of the strategies described below align with principles for universal accessibility and will, therefore, apply to a diverse range of hearing people and people with hearing loss.
  • Adulting Shorts: The “TEA” on IEPs Part 1

    Transitions ACR (2021-09-29)
    This info-comic is for high school students to help them understand what an Individualized Educational Plan or IEP is, what transition planning is, and the importance of the student being involved in them. This info-comic is based on work by the Translating Evidence to Support Transitions (TEST) team (NIDILRR Grant number 90DP0080). Find out more about this project on the project’s website. Read the Teens on IEPs tip sheet. Read the You Got This: Taking a Leadership Role in Your IEP Meeting tip sheet. Artwork by Marina Gatesy-Davis View the info-comic transcript.
  • 5 Simple Ways to Create More Accessible Social Media Content

    Wnuk, Jean (2021-07-22)
    Principles of accessibility are not limited to physical spaces (such as stairs or curbs) – the same principles apply to online content, including social media sites. If you are using social media as a channel to distribute your research and content, the following are reasons why your social media content should be made accessible: It is easy to do and the right thing to do This will increase access of your research to people with disabilities You will be abiding by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) In this tip sheet we share with you five simple ways to make your social media posts as widely accessible as possible.
  • Can I Bring My Emotional Support Animal to College with Me? [English and Spanish versions]

    Gatesy-Davis, Anwyn (2021-07-20)
    Do you know that you can take your Emotional Support Animal (ESA) with you to college? The Fair Housing Act (FHA) says that “Housing providers cannot refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with a disability the equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”3 This means that colleges and universities must allow ESAs in housing, even if there is a no-pet policy. Find out more about bringing your ESA to college with you in this tip sheet. 3 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (n.d.). Assistance animals. Retrieved from https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/assistance_animals See also the companion tip sheet: Emotional Support Animals: The Basics
  • Emotional Support Animals: The Basics [English and Spanish versions]

    Gatesy-Davis, Anwyn (2021-07-20)
    An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal that provides therapeutic benefit (e.g., emotional support, comfort, companionship) to a person with a mental health or psychiatric disability (such as a serious mental health condition). An ESA is not considered a Service Animal, but under U.S. law, an emotional support animal is also not considered a pet and is generally not restricted by the type of animal.1, 2 Any domesticated animal may be considered as an ESA (e.g., cats, dogs, mice, rabbits, birds, hedgehogs, rats, minipigs, ferrets, etc.) and they can be any age. However, an ESA must be able to be manageable in public and does not create a nuisance. In this tip sheet we describe what an Emotional Support Animal is an is not as well as how someone can look into getting one. See also the companion tip sheet: Can I Bring My Emotional Support Animal to College with Me?
  • Brain Injury Clubhouses

    McKay, Colleen E.; Young, Jason; Johnson, Cindi; Seel, Ronald T (2021-05-04)
    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that the number of people living with permanent disability from brain injury grows annually as medical technology has advanced in life saving techniques. However, community-based programs which enable brain injury survivors to live productive lives throughout the entire course of recovery have not grown proportionately to meet this the need. Brain Injury Clubhouses were developed to address the need for coordinated, long-term, community-based supports for brain survivors in a community-based setting. Brain Injury Clubhouses are designed to improve the lives of persons with ABI and reduce strain on caregivers and healthcare services The information in this research brief is designed to provide funders, administrators, policy makers, and other stakeholders with an overview of Brain Injury Clubhouses. The brief also provides outcomes associated with participation in a Brain Injury Clubhouse from a recent research study to provide stakeholders with a better understanding of Brain Injury Clubhouses.
  • Accessibility 101: A Researcher’s Guide to Making Content Accessible

    Murray, Alexandra (2021-04-29)
    What is accessibility? Accessibility refers to whether a product or service is usable by all regardless of disability status. Principles of accessibility are not limited to physical spaces (such as stairs or curbs) – the same principles apply to websites and public facing documents. There are guidelines to follow to make documents, web pages, presentations, products, and research findings more accessible to people with disabilities. This tip sheet offers an introduction to accessibility and will be followed by tip sheets that focus on specifics. Visit the CeKTER website.
  • Ways to Mind Your Mental Health in Challenging Times: Tips for Youth [English and Spanish versions]

    Larkin, Celine (2021-04-02)
    The isolation that youth and young adults have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health. This tip sheet offers some ideas and supports that youth and young adults can use to connect with others and help them feel better. A Spanish translation of this publication is available for download. See our related COVID-19 products on our website at https://umassmed.edu/TransitionsACR/coronavirus/.
  • Top Tips for Running a Virtual Advisory Board [English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin versions]

    Larkin, Celine; Logan, Deirdre G.; Anderson, Melissa L. (2020-12-16)
    In this tip sheet, the iSPARC Stakeholder Engagement Program offers advice on how to run an advisory council virtually. It also talks about some of the benefits of having your council meet virtually. Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin translations of this publication are available for download. Learn more about the iSPARC Stakeholder Engagement Program at https://umassmed.edu/sparc/isparccenters/engaging-the-mental-health-community-in-research/.

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