Transitions ACR Sept 2020 Newsletter
Welcome to our September Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research Newsletter. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time to share resources, personal stories, and raise awareness. Our Family Advisory Board, part of our Stakeholder Engagement Program just produced a Tip Sheet encouraging all of us to create a family safety plan. Any family can experience a mental health crisis and having a plan and being prepared can possibly minimize or avert a crisis. Read more details on the tip sheet below. If an emergency does occur, the tip sheet includes a list of resources, phone numbers and suggestions of how to take action to best help your family member.
New Tip Sheet for Families:
Before a Mental Health Crisis Hits:
Creating a Family Safety Plan
Do you know what to do when a family member starts struggling with their mental health? Our Family Advisory Board members recently put together some tips on how to create a Family Safety Plan. A Family Safety Plan is a document that you create collaboratively with family members and is a “playbook” of the best ways to minimize or divert a mental health crisis with a family member. The goal of the plan is to identify possible triggers for a mental health issue and actions, under different scenarios, to minimize or prevent a crisis and ensure the safety of your loved one and other family members. Suggestions for the components of an Emergency Plan are also included because sometimes, despite best efforts, a mental health crisis will occur. Our Tip Sheet includes a template you can use to build your Emergency Plan. Read and download your copy HERE.
New Tip Sheet for College Students:
Questions for Students with Mental Health Conditions to Consider Around Attending College Right Now
Last month we released a tip sheet about deciding whether attending college this semester was the right decision for you. It offered reflective questions you could ask yourself and questions to ask your college. By now you've made your initial decisions but it feels like every day brings new information and new decisions to make. College students with mental health conditions may be dealing with additional questions. Are my accommodations being implemented? Are online classes working for me? This tip sheet poses questions that are still relevant and you can be asking yourself as you navigate this school year. You can read and download the tip sheet HERE.

Working from Home Tip Sheet
When we first started working from home, we didn't put a lot of thought into the details of setup and structure, because it felt temporary. Today, many of us are realizing that our "home office" may be more permanent. If you haven't embraced a strategy for working from home, now is the time to do it. In our tip sheet we provide some concrete tips to help you work more productively from home, while staying connected to coworkers, friends, and family members during this challenging time. Read and download the full tip sheet HERE.
This Tip Sheet has also been translated into ASL by Alex Wilkins, NIAAA Diversity Scholar in the Deaf YES: Center for Deaf Empowerment and Recovery
A Tip Sheet for Youth:
How Young Adults Can Manage Loss of Income
During the COVID-19 Pandemic

"What should I do now?" This may be something you are asking yourself if your income has been cut recently. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to lose income because of pay cuts, lay-offs, or furloughs. This loss of income can be very scary and may be the first time you’ve been on your own and out of work. It can be overwhelming to figure out how to pay your different bills (e.g., school loans, credit cards, rent, food, etc.). In order to make ends meet, you may need to use any emergency savings you’ve built, apply for unemployment benefits, or use your stimulus payment. This tip sheet provides some ideas and resources on how to manage if you’ve lost your job or are getting less pay due to the current health crisis. View the whole tip sheet HERE.
The ED-SAFE Study

While suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States; suicide attempts are much more common, with more than 1 million people per year attempting suicide. In response to this critical need, the National Institute for Mental Health funded Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation (ED-SAFE). ED-SAFE was a large, three-phase suicide intervention trial designed to determine if an ED-initiated intervention could reduce subsequent suicidal behavior. The study found that the ED-SAFE intervention reduced the number of suicide attempts by 30 percent, compared with patients who received treatment as usual, and was as cost-effective as medical treatments widely in use, according to the study authors. Interventions included providing resources to outpatient suicide prevention; intensive post-visit, telephone-based coaching incorporating motivational interviewing; case management and family systems therapeutic principles.Read more about this study in our Research Brief, "Detecting and Intervening on Suicidality in Emergency Departments: The ED-SAFE StudyHERE.

Recently, Edwin Boudreaux, PhD, an iSPARC researcher, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry and Quantitative Health Sciences, and a co-leader of the ED-SAFE clinical trials was featured in a Voices of UMassMed podcast called "Screening for Suicidal Risk in ER Patients". In this podcast, Edwin Boudreaux talked about this trend and the importance of implementing suicide screenings in the emergency room. Listen to the UMASSMed Podcast HERE.
NIMH grant drives technology development to prevent suicide

A UMass Medical School researcher in emergency medicine, Celine Larkin, PhD, recently received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop telehealth and mobile app programs to reduce suicide among patients seen in emergency departments.
Celine Larkin, PhD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, is co-investigator on the two-year grant.

The mobile tech-based program, called Technology-Assisted Systems Change for Suicide Prevention (TASCS) builds on the multiyear NIMH-funded initiative, Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation, or ED-SAFE (above). Read more about Celine's grant HERE.

MHE&YOU Photo Contest Winners
During May is Mental Health Month our Mental Health Experienced & Years Of Understanding (MHE &YOU) Advisory Council held a photo contest posing the question "What is helping YOU get through this challenging time?" We asked you to send us a photo sharing what was helping you with your mental health at the moment. Here are our winners and some of our favorite entries. To see them all, visit our MHE & YOU website. Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winners!

Our Webinar "Supporting Youth Vocational Goals with Mental Health and Vocational Rehabilitation Collaboration: Implications for the Present" is now available on our website. This webinar presented findings from a study examining collaboration between state vocational rehabilitation agencies and public mental health systems related to the vocational goals of transition-age youth (ages 14-24) with serious mental health conditions. You can download the slides and watch the full webinar HERE.

Mental Health Resources for Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (Spanish / Deaf / Chat also available)

The Jed Foundation's Mental Health Resource Center

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Find support for yourself or those who may be at risk for suicide

Mental Health Resources to Support the BIPOC Community

From Wayside Youth and Family Support Network:

From McLean Hospital:

From NAMI Massachusetts:

SEED STUDY: Transitions ACR is currently recruiting for the Sequences of Employment and Education (SEED) research study to better understand how the employment and education experiences of young (ages 16-25) with serious mental health conditions change over time. You may be eligible if you are a young adult with a serious mental health condition who has experience in foster care and/or additional challenges with substance use.

Participation includes six 1-hour surveys over a 20-month period. All information shared will be kept confidential. Participants will be compensated up to $145 in gift cards for their time. To see if you’re eligible visit: The SEED Study
SMOKER2SMOKER STUDY: Transitions ACR is seeking the help of individuals to serve on an advisory board made up of young adult smokers – or former smokers who have quit within the last 5 years – who have lived mental health experience, in order to improve our questions for our qualitative interviews, help to solve any recruitment problems, and help us interpret our results. The goal of this research is to understand the reasons for one’s smoking and strategies that may help them quit. That understanding will be used to modify a text-based support for quitting that work well for the general population, so that it works well for young adults. Members will be paid $25/hour and will meet four times over the year. Are you interested? If so. contact Ian at
*Introducing CeKTER*

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Implementation Science & Practice Advances Research Center (UMASS-iSPARC) and the Boston University, Sargent College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation (BU-CPR) are pleased to announce Center on Knowledge Translation on Employment Research (CeKTER).

  • Funded by National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
  • Co-Project Directors Marianne Farkas, (BU-CPR) & Marsha Langer Ellison, (UMASS-iSPARC)
  • Funded from September 1 2020 – August 31 2025

The CeKTER’s goal is to promote the appropriate use of research-based knowledge and products to improve services, approaches, practices and policies that support improved employment outcomes of people with disabilities.

This cross - disability Knowledge Translation Center, mandated to support NIDILRR employment grantees, will achieve its goal through its commitment to co-production with experts across a variety of fields. The Advisory Council members, for example is comprised of seminal thinkers in implementation science and representatives of national associations of people with disabilities. Collaborators include prominent NIDILRR disability employment researchers.

For more information and to request technical assistance for disseminating your NIDILRR funded research please contact
Raise the Bar Higher Conference - October 21st. Work Without Limit's conference will be virtual this year. Info/Register HERE.
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.
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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 is part of the
Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center, 
a Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health Research Center of Excellence.