Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research May 2021 Newsletter
Our Raffle Contest for
"May is Mental Health Month"
May is Mental Health Month, a month where we raise awareness and educate the public about mental health, and reduce the stigma around mental health challenges. To help highlight its importance, our MHE & You Community Advisory Council is hosting our annual contest. This year, we want to know, "What’s helping YOU get through this challenging time?"

Share your Favorite Healthy Coping Strategy that has helped your mental health this year.

Enter our contest for a chance to win $100!
1. To enter, use this Contest Entry Form (print it out and draw, paint, write or tape a photo on it, etc. or use it online) to share your Favorite Healthy Coping Strategy with us.

2. Follow our Mental Health Month Contest Guidelines and use the Photo Release Form you'll find on that page.

You'll see your entry to the submissions section on the page.
A Big Update for HYPE on Campus Training
Helping Youth on the Path to Employment, or HYPE, is a career development model serving young adults, 18-30, with mental health conditions, to help discover and actualize educational and employment goals. HYPE brings together the best of employment and educational support to teach skills, provide and link to needed resources, and support the young adult to move their own career goals forward through intentional, intensive services.

College students with mental health conditions are a population that are at great risk of having their careers interrupted: upwards of 86% of college students with mental health conditions (MHCs) have experienced a major disruption to their college career and have an extraordinarily high dropout rate from college. And unfortunately, those who have experienced an academic disruption in the past are known to be more likely to experience future disruptions. A new program, HYPE on Campus, was developed to address this concern by taking HYPE right to university campuses to serve college students where they live and study. The HYPE team is currently partnering with Binghamton University to research how HYPE works to effect student persistence and success on campus.

With HYPE on Campus providers learn how to:
  • Teach executive functioning skills through a 12-week manualized curriculum. Skill areas included are Time and Task Management, Problem Solving, and Memory and Study Strategies.
  • Coordinate needed resources. Many students with MHC’s don’t realize that they qualify for resources such as Disability/Accessibility Services that provide essential supports.
  • Support the use of Accommodations and Assistive Technology, so that the functional implications of the disabling condition itself are mitigated.

How COVID Changed HYPE
COVID had a big impact on everyone in 2020, changing the ways in which we communicate and learn – in the midst of all that, the HYPE team worked to “pivot” our training in HYPE to continue to be able to offer quality supports and services to young people. Training in HYPE traditionally involved traveling to the site of the organization or campus, and gathering staff and administrators for days of training at a time. We have developed an online training capacity to engage learners, from young adults to providers, in the skills and information they need to advance the careers of young people. The development of HYPECareers.Org enabled us to create online training of future providers of HYPE on Campus and our other offerings in HYPE (including the full HYPE Provider Training, HYPE Course Facilitator Training and FSST Training), with an easy-to-use online platform. Learn more at HYPECareers.Org.

Mark Your Calendar for Thursday June 24, 2021 at 1:00 PM EDT for an upcoming Webinar on how HYPE and 2 other programs pivoted to being virtual when the pandemic hit. We'll discuss the successes and challenges. More details to follow.
Adulting Shorts: An Interview Tale
With spring, comes the opportunity for internship and job interviews. Our info-comics, Adulting Shorts: An Interview Tale Parts I and II, provide a guide to potential health and mental health related interview questions (which are a no, no) and how to answer them.
Emotional Support Animals (ESA)
Our pets are often our best friends, offering comfort, companionship, therapeutic benefits and unconditional love. But do you know what an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is? We've published a new resource guide on Emotional Support Animals on our website. This new ESA resource webpage offers the Basics of Emotional Support Animals, and their differences from other types of animals (e.g. service, therapy and pets). We also answer important questions like "What is the actual difference between a legitimate ESA and a pet?" and "Can I take my ESA to college?" Read The Basics on Emotional Support Animals.
Disparities in Vocational Supports for Black Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions

This brief begins, "Young adult Black people with disabilities, including serious mental health conditions (SMHCs), are less likely to find and keep jobs than peers who are White" and then discusses the "Whys" including research on barriers and facilitators to employment. The research brief also presents information on Engagement and Access to Vocational Services. Read or download Disparities in Vocational Supports for Black Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions.
There’s More to Young Adult Unemployment Than Mental Health: What Else to Look For

The unemployment rate of young adults living with serious mental health conditions (SMHCs) is appallingly high when compared to young adults with other disabilities and even worse compared to young adults without disabilities. Approximately 91% of young adults with SMHCs are employed at some time since high school, while only 49.6% were employed 8 years after high school, a rate that is significantly lower than that of the general population. But it's not only mental health that creates a barrier to employment, there are other factors at play. See what they are in our brief, There’s More to Young Adult Unemployment Than Mental Health.
Upcoming Events
June 2nd: Our Director, Maryann Davis will be presenting at Parent/Professional Advocacy League's Parents of Transition-Aged Youth virtual group meeting on Wednesday, June 2nd from 6-8PM. Maryann is an internationally recognized expert in services and interventions for young people transitioning to adulthood with serious mental health conditions. She'll describe our "Peer Academic Coaching for College Students with Mental Health Conditions" (PASS) project. All are welcome.

Enter our Contest for a chance to win one of 8 prizes

Save the Date: June 2-3, 2021
Co-sponsored by Collaborative on Postsecondary Education and Disability at the UConn and Transforming Accessibility Initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University

Mark Your Calendar for Thursday June 24, 2021 at 1:00 PM EDT for an upcoming Webinar on how HYPE and 2 other programs pivoted to being virtual when the pandemic hit. Details to follow.
Parent/Professional Advocacy League is a statewide, grassroots family organization that advocates for improved access to mental health services for children, youth and their families. They have an outstanding selection of publications offering family support that are available for all.

The Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth is a collaboration between the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, The Council of State Governments, the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University, and the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The Center was created in 2019 by the United States Department of Labor. It seeks to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities by helping states build capacity in their youth service delivery and workforce systems. New materials and resources will be added to the site in the upcoming months.

Extends Service to increase mental health resources. Monday - Friday 10 AM to 8 PM EST 800-950-NAMI (6264)
All Things MEME
This is the meme of Bernie Sanders sitting on a folding chair, hands crossed in front of him wearing big brown and white knitted mittens. He appears annoyed and bored. The text printed above him says, "Waiting for my accommodations to be approved.”
This is a meme of Buzz Lightyear and Woody staring out into the distance. Buzz has his hand up, pointing and looking excited. Woody looks scared. The text below them says, “When your therapist wants you to confront your fear.”
This is a meme that is split with side by side graphics. The left size is a UNO playing card that says “Get all accommodations” and handwritten, it was added “Or Draw 25”. On the right size is a man sitting at a table holding 25 UNO cards in his hand.
Have you joined us on Instagram yet? This is where our young adults take over, including memes created by our Youth Advisory Board. This stakeholder engagement group adds youth voice to the research we do. They will provide input throughout the entire process from development of interview questions to effective ways to translate the results into content that works for youth stakeholders. Along the way, they help us create some content for our social media channels, including memes.

Memes can be a way for our young adults to use dark humor to express the frustrations they face in every day living. If you haven't checked out what we are doing over on Instagram, visit us at
May is Mental Health Month
Since 1949, Mental Health America and their affiliates across the country have observed May is Mental Health Month by reaching out to millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings. 

Here, our MHE & You Advisory Council at host their annual contest to raise mental health awareness. In addition, bridges, landmarks and buildings around Massachusetts light up green to increase that visibility and awareness as they celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week from May 2-8, 2021. In an upcoming email, we'll share photos of our local buildings and landmarks looking great in green for Mental Health Month. (These images are Massachusetts landmarks lit up green in prior years, as seen on the MassDMH website.)
Upcoming Webinar: UMass iSPARC researcher, Dr. Nancy Byatt, will be presenting "Closing the Gaps in Perinatal Mental Health Care by Building the Capacity of Frontline Providers" webinar on May 12th.

Mood and anxiety disorders affect one in five individuals during pregnancy or in the first postpartum year. They increase the risk of adverse maternal, infant, and child outcomes and account for 9% of maternal mortality. Recognizing that frontline perinatal health care providers are in an ideal position to intervene; it is recommended that mental health care is integrated into perinatal care. However, barriers at the individual, provider, systems, and community levels impede treatment participation. Less than a quarter of women with perinatal mood or anxiety disorders receive mental health care. This presentation will review models for implementing evidence-based health care in perinatal care settings. Register HERE.

We invite persons with lived mental health experience, family members, DMH staff & providers to attend the 2021 Annual Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) Research Centers of Excellence Conference on Monday, June 14th 12:30 - 4:30 PM EDT.

Take an inside look at the Centers of Excellence (Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center (iSPARC) at University of Massachusetts Medical School and
Center of Excellence (COE) for Psychosocial and Systemic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and how stakeholder-engaged research can change care provision and policy. Registration coming soon.

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Some of the contents of this message were developed under a grant with funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Health and Human Services (NIDILRR grant number 90RTEM0005). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this message do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, and/or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research promotes the full participation in socially valued roles of transition-age youth and young adults (ages 14-30) with serious mental health conditions. The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (Transitions ACR) is located within the Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center (iSPARC) and houses The Learning & Working During the Transition to Adulthood Rehabilitation Research & Training Center (The Learning & Working RRTC), among other projects.
The Learning & Working RRTC is a national effort that aims to improve the supports of this population to successfully complete their schooling and training and move into rewarding work lives. 
Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

As a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Research Center of Excellence, iSPARC aims to improve the mental and behavioral health of all citizens of Massachusetts and beyond.