September 2017
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 RTC
A division of SPARC, the Transitions RTC 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 Transitions RTC 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:
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Stay Connected

Don't miss the October 4th SPARC Webinar! 

Adolescents Charged with Domestic Battery (ADB) on a Parent: Assessment and Management 

There has been an increase in the number of youth referred to the juvenile justice system for violence against a parent. This webinar will examine a) different categories of youth charged with ADB, b) how to best assess youth to make appropriately informed justice and treatment-related decisions, and c) various coordinated treatment approaches with the potential for success. The presenter will highlight the Adolescent Domestic Battery Typologies Tool (ADBTT), which is an assessment tool that provides a structured framework to help inform case processing, dispositional, and treatment decisions based on an assessment of a youth's risk for future Adolescent Domestic Battery (ADB).  

Noon to 1pm EDT

Register for the webinar  here.

Learn more about SPARC's juvenile justice work  here.

Local Presentations

SPARC's own Tania Duperoy will be presenting at Work Without Limits Raise the Bar HIRE! Conference & Career Fair on October 5th. Stop by our exhibit table at the conference to see what's new at SPARC. 

International Presentations
SPARC and Transitions RTC faculty and staff are presenting on various young adult-focused research projects at the September 24-26, 2017 4th  International Conference on Youth Mental Health in Dublin, Ireland.

Expanding Employment Research
High unemployment among young adults with serious mental health conditions (SMHCs) should not only be attributed to their mental health conditions. Research should take an intersectional approach where, in addition to looking at mental health condition factors, other indicators of social and demographic inequalities are also taken into account. Read more here.


See more from SPARC about young adults with serious mental health conditions here.
The Impact of Suicide Calls on First Responders
Research has demonstrated that suicide calls are critical incidents in police officers' careers and are among the highest anxiety- and stress-provoking circumstances to which police officers must respond. These calls and other critical incidents impact the mental health of first responders. This issue brief offers recommendations for police training and strategies to support the mental health of first responders.

Learn more about Law & Psychiatry research being done at SPARC.
Recovery is Possible
SPARC researchers worked with peer and state mental health stakeholders to examine the relationship between participating in MA DMH Recovery Learning Communities (RLCs) and individuals' personal, health, and life outcomes. This study is an important first step exploring how recovery-focused environments can support and enhance personal recovery journeys. Read more about the pilot study here. This brief is also available in Spanish. 

A full report can be found here.
Saving for Your Future

The recently enacted federal ABLE act allows people living
with serious mental health conditions to sav e money 
without impacting their SSI benefits. Learn about this new type of account in our tip sheet here .

See our companion tip sheet, Telling Your Money What to Do: The Young Adults Guide, for money tips here.  
Edwin D. Boudreaux 
Edwin D. Boudreaux, Ph.D. is a Professor with the Departments of Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, and Quantitative Health Sciences at 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 UMMHC'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

Dr. Boudreaux recently published the results of the ED-SAFE trial Suicide Prevention in an Emergency Department Population: The ED-SAFE Study in the June 2017 issue of JAMA Psychiatry. The abstract can be found here.
SPARC Director, Maryann Davis , has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee. Dr. Davis is one of 14 public members appointed to the committee. The Committee's mission is to "report on advances in research on serious mental illness among adults and serious emotional disturbance among children and on federal outcomes related to measures of suicide, drug overdoses, emergency hospitalizations, criminal justice involvement, homelessness, unemployment, and other issues." Learn more about the committe here .

Want to learn more about Dr. Davis' work? Visit
SPARC's Transition Age Youth program page here.