At the Center, we support all of our activities with sound evidence gathered through research. We collaborate with local and national experts to discover effective recovery oriented practices that can be readily applied. We seek to answer the questions that are relevant and important to every practitioner: what works best for who and why?

Current Research

Providing Technical Support and Implementation of Services for Adolescents and Young Adults Experiencing a First Episode of Psychosis

Funded by Minnesota Department of Human Services

The Center and the Minnesota Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Division has funded an initiative to provide clinical training and ongoing technical support and fidelity reviews to teams in Minnesota providing evidence-based care for persons who have experienced their first episode of psychosis. The teams are trained in the NAVIGATE coordinated specialty-care model developed as a result of findings of the Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode-Early Treatment Program (RAISE-ETP) funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Four teams have been trained in the state of Minnesota and are being provided ongoing consultation. These are the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry , M HEALTH , Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in the Twin Cities metro region, and a fourth team, at the Human Development Center based in Duluth, MN.

Pathways to Care in First Episode Psychosis: Sociocultural Influences on Psychopathology

Funded by Minnesota Department of Human Services

The Pathways to Care project seeks to understand perceptions and experiences of persons who have had their first episode of psychosis (FEP) and their caregivers on their individual pathways to care. We aim to make recommendations to improve outreach and engagement by incorporating specific cultural and regional needs into training and consultation with the First Episode Psychosis treatment teams in Minnesota so that persons with FEP might be connected to evidence-based care in a more efficient and culturally appropriate way. Data collection is in progress.

Past Research

Mental Health Quality Improvement Project for Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)

Funded by Minnesota Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Division

Dramatically high rates of mortality related to chronic health conditions among individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) have contributed to an increasing need for interventions to address this problem. Integrated Illness Management and Recovery (I-IMR) is an intervention that incorporates illness self-management strategies for mental and physical illnesses. This study piloted I-IMR using practitioners on Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams to investigate feasibility of I-IMR on at ACT team and outcomes associated with improvements in the physical and mental health of individuals with SMI.

I-IMR was found to be both feasible and effective with participants. Participants enrolled in I-IMR experienced reduced psychiatric and medical hospitalizations at post treatment, and improved psychiatric outcomes and general self-efficacy. There was no significant improvement in self-efficacy related to disease management.

Research Briefs

Treatment of Co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Preparedness of Social Workers and Alcohol and Drug Counselors in Minnesota

Of the 9.2 million Americans with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (CODs), only 44.4% received treatment for either mental illness or substance use disorder alone, while an even smaller minority (7.7%) received treatment for both (SAMHSA, 2012).

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Integration of Mental Health and Primary Care: Barriers, Strategies, and Recommendations

Individuals with serious mental illness have a much shorter lifespan than the general population, with increased incidence of physical illness such as hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory disease (De Hert et al., 2011). To address the life expectancy gap between those with serious mental illness and the general population in Minnesota, the 10 x 10 initiative was started in 2008. The goal of this initiative is to increase the lifespan of individuals with serious mental illness by 10 years within 10 years.

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Piloting Integrated Illness Management and Recovery with Assertive Community Treatment Teams: Targeting Physical Health in Persons with Serious Mental Illness

The Minnesota 10 by 10 initiative, led by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, has set a goal to increase the life expectancy of individuals with SMI by 10 years, in 10 years from its commencement in 2011 (Minnesota Department of Human Services, 2011). As part of the Minnesota 10 by 10 initiative, resources were developed to create opportunities for increasing discussion surrounding physical health screenings between health care providers, practitioners, clients, and their family members. The Center trained 10 ACT teams across Minnesota in the I-IMR model to examine the feasibility of an individualized intervention to address both mental and physical health needs. This Research Brief highlights the outcomes of the intervention.

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Trainings Tailored to Your Team’s Needs

Talk with us about how we can build an evidence-based practice training plan for your team.