January 2019
Welcome to our iSPARC
March 2019 Newsletter!
We are Advancing Research!
Understanding Barriers & Facilitators to Bipolar Disorder Treatment during Pregnancy

Untreated bipolar disorder during and after pregnancy can have negative impacts on the mother and infant. Treatment of bipolar
disorder is particularly complex and challenging during the perinatal period.

Our researchers recently completed a preliminary descriptive study with the goals of:
● Identifying barriers women with bipolar disorder face in accessing pharmacotherapy during pregnancy
● Identifying strategies to overcome barriers
 See the study findings by downloading the poster  here . See more posters showing our work on parental & family mental health on iSPARC's website  here.
We are Improving Practice & Lives!
How Trauma Informed Training to Child Professionals can Change Youth Lives

Childhood trauma is well established as a major public health issue. Statistics show that each year in the United States, upwards of one million youth experience violence, trauma and maltreatment and that by age 16 more than 67.8% of children witness or are victims of some type of violence. Almost half of children with a history of trauma do not receive any services because of the wait time and lack of properly trained providers. 
In this brief researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Child Trauma Training Center (CTTC) show how the training of professionals is a swift and efficient way to impact large numbers of children with trauma histories and ultimately to improve their lives, health, and well-being.
You can learn more about the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Child Trauma Training Center (UMMS CTTC) here .

We are in the NEWS
iSPARC Researcher Nancy Byatt D.O., M.B.A. quoted in MobiHealthNews !
The hidden problem: Postpartum and perinatal depression and how community input in tool development could save lives

“I think during pregnancy there is this myth that exists that pregnancy is supposed to be this wonderful time period, even though that is a complete fallacy because anybody knows who has had a baby or been around someone who had a baby it’s actually really challenging,” Byatt said. 
Read more about Dr. Byatt’s work here .
Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H. elected President of the APA
Our colleague, Jeffrey Geller MD, MPH, Medical Director of the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, has been elected President of the American Psychiatric Association . He will serve as President-Elect from May 2019 to May 2020 and will be President from May 2020 to May 2021. He is the 3rd APA President from Worcester.
Maryann Davis, iSPARC Director
appointed to new task force
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has appointed Maryann Davis, iSPARC Director, to the Task Force to Examine and Study the Treatment and Impact of Individuals Ages 18 to 24 in the Court System and Correctional System   

This task force consists of 20 members and its goals are to:

-Evaluate the advisability, feasibility and impact of changing the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to defendants younger than 21 years of age.

-Make recommendations for the establishment, implementation and provision to young adults, aged 18 to 24, who have been committed to the department of correction or a county correctional facility with increased and targeted age-appropriate programming and the establishment of young adult correctional units as authorized in section 48B of chapter 127 of the General Laws.

Learn more about Dr. Davis' work here .
The Learning & Working Center within the Transitions ACR is proud to present their 2018 State-of-the-Science Proceedings!
We had two main goals during our presentation...
In March 2018, the Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood Rehabilitation Research & Training Center conducted a state-of-the-science conference,  Improving Education, Training and Employment Outcomes for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions There were two main goals for the state-of-the-science conference. The first was to describe the current state-of-the-science that informs practice and policy supports for strong educational and employment outcomes in youth and young adults (ages 14-30) with serious mental health conditions. The second was to engage all attendees in prioritizing the knowledge that future research should address to most rapidly and robustly lead to improvements in these outcomes.

You can view and download the Proceedings from the state-of the-science conference  here
Young Adult Corner - In Her Words...
"Achieving a successful work/life balance is a nonlinear process.
Sometimes I take two steps forward and then one step back."

When you are a young adult, living with a mental health condition AND seeking a satisfying work experience, having a work/life balance REALLY matters! Of course, it matters to all of us, but it can be more challenging as you begin a career. One of our young adults here at iSPARC recently wrote this blog post. It's first person experience as she tells her story on how she navigates the work environment and keeps herself healthy. Read her blog post here . Did you miss any of our earlier blog posts? Catch up here .

Check out Voices4Hope here , our web content written by young adults for young adults living with mental health conditions.
Upcoming Events - Save the Dates
Coming in May 2019
Be on the look-out for the MHE & YOU Advisory Council’s May is Mental Health Awareness Month art contest this. This year’s theme is how a service, companion or emotional support animal helps you with your mental health. In April check the MHE & YOU advisory Council’s website , Facebook & Twitter for information on how to participate.

May 15th 2019
Ed Boudreaux, Ph.D. and Celine Larkin, Ph.D. will present a webinar on their work to detect and intervene on suicidality in emergency departments. The webinar is scheduled May 15, 2019 from 11am-12pm EDT. We will post more details on our social media pages as they become available.

Don't Forget Your Self-Care Practices
March is a busy month. In addition to getting us hopeful for Spring in New England, it also includes Self Harm Awareness Day , Sleep Awareness Week , and World Bipolar Day . We want to remind you that a little self care is essential. We found this fun graphic to remind you to do something for yourself. The artwork was created by Dani @ positivelypresent. This month, please remember to take care of yourself, along with taking care of others. And think Spring!
Who We Are
The Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center (formerly known as the Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center ) is a part of the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Department of Psychiatry. 

iSPARC is a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) Center of Excellence for Public Mental Health Services and Implementation Research that aims to improve the mental and behavioral health of all citizens of Massachusetts and beyond. iSPARC is committed to transferring knowledge and insights gained through rigorous research to improve the lives of people with lived mental health experience.

We conduct Participatory Action Research, an all-inclusive approach that ensures that every aspect of our research incorporates the voices of those with lived mental health experience.
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Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center (iSPARC) | University of Massachusetts Medical School | 508-856-5498 | 508-856-8700 | sparc@umassmed.edu | www.umassmed.edu/sparc/