January 2019
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will host National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) January 22-27, 2019. NDAFW is a national health observance linking teens to science-based facts to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs! You can learn more about NDAFW here.

Teachers can register for National Drugs and Alcohol Chat Day (January 24th), when students can chat with NIDA scientists about substance use disorders and the effects of drugs and alcohol..
Study Results
Effective Implementation 

Gina Vincent, Ph.D., an iSPARC researcher, is the lead author of the December 2018 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Juvenile Justice Bulletin.

This edition of the bulletin, Studying Drivers of Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument Implementation in Juvenile Justice, describes the research findings about factors that promote effective implementation of risk and needs assessment tools in the juvenile justice system. The authors used a framework based on implementation science, to analyze qualitative and quantitative data to identify the drivers of successful implementation."

Read and download the bulletin here .

See more by Dr. Vincent on iSPARC's website here .
New iSPARC Publications
Using books for psychoeducation for young children
A parent’s struggle to manage their emotions may have significant impact on their young children. Helping a child understand what is going on for the parent, without blaming that parent or the child, may be useful for the child. Reading books with children, or bibliotherapy, could be useful for parents who experience stress-related “meltdowns” or perhaps live with mental health conditions.

Read the brief here .

Interested in more about parent and family and mental health? Click here .
Supporting young adult employment goals
Having a job as a youth or young adult is a predictor of long-term work success. Having a job has also been related to improved self-esteem, self-efficacy, and life satisfaction. However, there is a significant gap in work experience for many young adults living with mental health conditions. 

Read our tip sheet that provides strategies to work with young adults to reach their employment goals here
Increasing Cultural Competence
Did you miss the premier of Sign Here: How to Conduct Informed Consent with Deaf Research Participants ?   

The Deaf ACCESS R21 project culminated in a 35-minute video training for researchers titled, Sign Here: How to Conduct Informed Consent with Deaf Research Participants. The training video tested well in a small pre-/post-test simulation pilot study with "Deaf-naive" research staff, and has also had a very positive reception within the Deaf community. Watch the training video here

Do you want to know more about the Deaf ACCESS study? Check out the following briefs here and here and these American Sign Language (ASL) videos
Improving Practice
Preventing Disability Among Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions

This webinar focuses on how supporting the normative, developmentally relevant pathways of young people prevents system effects and the disabilities experienced by older adults in mental health services by focusing on developing human capital among young adults with mental health conditions. 

It also demonstrates how higher education consistently insulates people from unemployment, provides a livable wage, and provides access to employment opportunities that, by design, naturally accommodate for periods of symptom exacerbation.

Watch it here and get the slides here
Spotlight on Youth and Young Adult Mental Health
Maryann Davis, Ph.D. (iSPARC Director) and Michelle R. Munson, Ph.D. co-edited a special section in the American Psychological Association's Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. The December 2018 special section focuses on Youth and Young Adult Mental Health. Dr. Davis and Dr. Munson are internationally recognized experts in services and interventions for young people transitioning to adulthood with serious mental health conditions, which generally occurs between 16 and 30 years of age.

The five papers included in the special section provide data on the efficacy of treatment models, shed light on youth and young adults' attitudes toward help-seeking, and offer guidance for community-based providers serving this age group.

Find the table of contents to the special section here .
Young Adult Corner
Pathways to Alcohol Use for Rural Latino Adolescents
Research has shown that individuals who began drinking before age 15 often develop alcohol dependence in later life. Several factors associated with enhanced risk for early onset have been identified for adolescents in general, and Latino youth are at heightened risk for these factors. There is a lack of research on alcohol use for immigrant Latino adolescents in rural settings. Read our brief that examines 1) culturally specific risk factors for early onset alcohol use, 2) culturally specific protective factors, 3) the importance of considering non-urban communities and 4) future directions for research.

Read more here .

Want to see more work by Rosalie Torres Stone, Ph.D., please visit our Multicultural Mental Health page.
Upcoming Events
Join Us in Tampa!

The 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health will be held March 3-6, 2019. iSPARC researchers Kathryn Sabella and Amanda Costa will be members of the "Business as Usual" Is Not Enough: Engaging and Innovating with Young Adults in Research and Practice Plenary Panel. We hope you’ll join us in Tampa.

Early Bird registration is now open here .
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/