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Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research October 2023 Newsletter

In this Issue...

  • Young Adult Study Participants Wanted
  • Two New Grants!
  • New Comic for Young Adults
  • Podcast Episode 11 Recording & Video!
  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)
  • In Case You Missed It


Are you 18-30 years old, employed, and living with a mental health condition that makes it hard to keep up with your job?

The Tools for Work Success Study

may help.

Do you (or someone you know) have a hard time doing or keeping up with your job due to difficulties staying organized, remembering things, managing your time, following directions, or getting to work on time? The Tools for Work Success Study may be able to help.


Our Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research is recruiting for a new study, the Tools for Work Success Study. The main purpose of this study is to determine which of two approaches is most effective in helping young adults, ages 18 to 30 years old with mental health conditions, develop skills around focus, memory, planning/time management, and problem solving for work. Want to learn more?

Visit the Tools for Work Success Study page or contact a member of the study team at or 508-864-5329.

Tools for Work Success - Learn More


Newly Funded Research in September 2023!

The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research is pleased to announce that in September 2023 two of our researchers received funding for new projects. Please join us in congratulating Lourah Kelly and Kathryn Sabella on these important research studies.

Lourah Kelly, PhD, was awarded a 3-year project entitled “Development and Evaluation of an Avatar Guided Mobile Health for Emerging Adults” by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Emerging adults have higher rates of binge drinking, thoughts of suicide, and suicide attempts than any other age group, but very low use of substance use treatment. The first phase of this project pilots, refines, and evaluates a novel mobile health intervention guided by an avatar for emerging adults and who binge drink and experience thoughts of suicide. The intervention is implemented within the emergency department as a key point of healthcare service entry. Because emerging adults prefer mobile health and self-guided interventions and such technology is widely accessible, the proposed mobile health intervention could offer significant public health benefit in reducing alcohol use problems and suicidal thoughts in emerging adults.

Kathryn Sabella, PhD, and Elizabeth Thomas, PhD, Temple University, are co-directors of a new “Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation among Transition Age Youth with Serious Mental Health Conditions from Disadvantaged, Vulnerable, and Marginalized Backgrounds” co-funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This 5-year project will serve as a national leader in state-of-the-art research and knowledge translation activities to significantly advance community living and participation outcomes among transition-age youth (TAY) with serious mental health conditions from disadvantaged, vulnerable, and marginalized backgrounds.

Read More About These Projects

Adulting Shorts: Passport to Adulting

Managing Your Paperwork

Our new comic, "Passport to Adulting: Managing Your Paperwork" complements our popular tip sheet "My Must Have Papers - Managing the Paperwork of Adulting. In the comic, Mom is helping her daughter prepare to handle her paperwork on her own as she moves out of the house.

The comic is available for download here: Passport to Adulting Comic

The accompanying tip sheet is available in English and Spanish here.

STAY Tuned Podcast Episode 11:

Progress isn't Linear, You Might Even Need a Detour Out of School

Also available as a VIDEO PODCAST!

Graduate high school, graduate college, get a job. A deceivingly simple timeline that young adults were expected to follow since they were kids. In reality, life is messy and we're here to tell you detours along the way are normal and there's more than one way to reach your goals. In this episode, we bring on Maya Ingram, a Project Director here at UMass Chan Medical School. Maya tells her story of how she navigated the ups and downs life has thrown at her all while paving the way for her career. 

Our S.T.A.Y. Tuned: Supporting Transition-Age Youth Podcast is a podcast for young adults, made by young adults, with mental health conditions.

Listen to Podcast Episode 11
Read the Podcast Transcript



October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The theme this year, "Advancing Access and Equity", aligns with our mission at Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research and our NIDILRR funded Learning & Working During the Transition to Adulthood Rehabilitation & Research Training Center (Learning & Working RRTC). Here are some products focused on advancing access and equity.

IPS Supported Employment for Transition Age Youth Manual (The IPS Fidelity Scale is also available.)

A Toolkit for Employers: Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers 

A Research Brief: Disparities in Vocational Supports for Black Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions


New Tip Sheets Available in Spanish

We have several new Tip Sheets for young adults now translated into Spanish. For a complete list, visit Spanish Language Products for Young Adults.

Episode 10 of our STAY Tuned podcast with Dr. Michelle Mullen CRC, CPRP, disucsses her work on preventing disability and keeping young adults out of a system that breaks them.  Episode 10: "Too sick" to work? - Breaking the narrative

Episode 9 of our STAY Tuned podcast is about trauma -- its source, impact and how to heal. Our guest, Joan, shares her experience, including using EMDR therapy. Episode 9: Trauma is a Thief - Reclaiming Your Power.
Managing the paperwork that comes along with "Adulting" is not fun. Our Young Adult Advisory Board and Family Advisory Board set out to make that task a little easier. "My Must Have Papers - Managing the Paperwork of Adulting" Tip Sheet
This tip sheet is a good starting point for your young adult in their job search journey, covers many topics and includes some great networking resources. "Applying for a Job - The Young Adult's Guide" Tip Sheet
Our free course for providers shares key info & resources related to the importance of engaging young adults in work and school endeavors, and strategies for doing this work. Engaging Young Adults in Work & School - Training for Providers.

Sometimes a meme can convey a feeling that is hard to articulate.

Check out the memes developed by the young adults in our National Youth Advisory Board (YAB). They get posted to our various social media platforms.

Visit our Instagram Page for more memes
Technical Assistance activities are an extension of the research and training activities of Transitions ACR. Our intention is to collaborate closely with numerous stakeholders requesting technical assistance in order to produce actionable practice and policy agenda. Our TA services can range from simple resource referrals to on-site development of a formal TA plan (including fact finding, goals, responsibilities, timelines and evaluation measures). 

Please complete the form below for Technical Assistance from Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research. Please note that we do not provide clinical consultation, behavioral services, or referrals.
Request Technical Assistance
Tip sheets, briefs, reports, articles, posters, infographics and video by topic

Many publications are available in Spanish (en español) or Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt).
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 transition-age youth and young adults (age 14-30) with serious mental health conditions 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).
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As a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Research Center of Excellence located within the Department of Psychiatry at UMass Chan Medical School, iSPARC aims to improve the mental and behavioral health of all citizens of Massachusetts and beyond.
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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.
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