September 2018
In This Issue
Who We Are
As a Massachusetts
Department of Mental Health Research Center of Excellence, SPARC aims to improve the mental and behavioral health of all citizens of Massachusetts and beyond.
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.
What We Do
SPARC and the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research are 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. 
Tell Us What You Think
We want to hear from you!
If you are interested in knowing more about a particular area of research or want to collaborate with us, please let us know .
Contact us at:
Subscribe & Share! Please subscribe and/or share this e-letter with your networks; we're happy to include them in our circle.
Stay Connected

Upcoming Local Conferences and Events
Save the Date

SPARC and the Transitions ACR will have a table at the Work Without Limits Raise the Bar HIRE! Conference & Career Fair on October 10th. 

Hope to see you there!

The 5th Annual Deaf Mental Health Symposium - Legal and Forensic Issues in Deaf Mental Health Care is on October 12
at the Worcester Recovery Center & Hospital. 

SPARC and the Transitions ACR will have a table at this event.  Stop by and see us!
In the Community
See the 2018 May is Mental Health Month Art Contest Winners

In celebration of May is Mental Health Month, SPARC and the MHE & YOU Advisory Council held an art contest. The theme of the contest was " Self-Care and Healthy Ways to Cope ".  Find the contest winners here.

Having an Emotional Support Animal

Did you miss the Facebook Live event featuring Anwyn Gatesy-Davis talking about Emotional Support Animals? You can find the video here.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
This is  a time to share resources, personal stories, and raise awareness. It is important to talk about suicide and suicide prevention year-round, but September allows us to focus on this important topic.  
Tip Sheet Spotlight

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 Derpartment 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. Read more about the ED-SAFE study here
New Study Results
In partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (Transitions ACR), The Jed Foundation (JED), a leading nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the emotional health and to prevent suicide for teens and young adults, recently released a white paper, College to Career: Supporting Mental Health , analyzing the challenges to emotional well-being faced by young adults during the college-to-career transition. The paper also offers strategic recommendations for colleges and employers looking to support young adults and improve outcomes during this critical transition.   Read the full report here .
Featured SPARC Researcher
Edwin D. Boudreaux, Ph.D. is a Professor with the Departments of Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, and Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a SPARC Associate Faculty member. He is a national leader in suicide prevention research in health care settings, particularly leveraging implementation science and technology to detect and treat suicidality and improve behavioral health. Suicide claims almost 45,000 lives per year in the United States, and healthcare settings are uniquely placed to detect and treat suicidality. Dr. Boudreaux is a PI of the NIH-funded System of Safety Study, focused on the implementation of best practice suicide-related care across UMass Memorial Health Care's emergency departments, inpatient medical and behavioral health units, and primary care clinics. This study builds on the success of the UMMHC's Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation (ED-SAFE) studies. Read more about Dr. Boudreaux's work here

Take a look at this excellent resource on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center website that is a "one stop shop" for implementation of universal suicide screening in acute care settings that's based off of Dr. Boudreaux's work.
September is also Recovery Month
Can quality of life impact how long someone stays in a Drug Treatment Court program? Ekaterina Pivovarova, Ph.D. received a KL2 grant to study The Impact of Health-Related Quality of Life on Retention in Drug Treatment Courts. Her study proposes to shift the focus to health-related Quality of Life and its impact on Drug Treatment Court dropout rates. Read more about her study here.
Young Adult Corner
Heading back to college?  If you are having trouble with school due to your mental health disability, your school is obligated to provide extra supports and services to help you succeed.  Check out the Transitions ACR's tip sheets that go over the basics of academic accommodations and some outside-the-box accommodations that are geared toward students with mental health conditions.
Webinar from the Transitions ACR

Presenters: Amanda Costa, Laura Golden, and Ian Lane
Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT
Young adults with mental health conditions make up a growing percentage of students on college campuses, yet many struggle academically and have one of the highest dropout rates of any disability group. This webinar will describe findings from a qualitative study that paints an intimate picture of the facilitators and barriers to academic success faced by college students with mental health conditions from the direct perspectives of college students, faculty, and Disability and Counseling Services staff. This webinar will also describe an innovative peer-to-peer academic coaching intervention designed to address facilitators and barriers identified in our research findings.
Register for this free webinar  here.

For more information about this type of research, click here.