Research In Focus for Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, organized by Mental Health America to share information about mental health and support for people with lived experience of mental health conditions. Some people experience mental health concerns temporarily, others live with mental health conditions throughout their lives. With appropriate supports, individuals with mental health conditions can be successful at school, find and keep competitive employment, and participate fully in their communities. Research from the NIDILRR community has explored many facets of mental health, recovery, and supports for participation. Our Research In Focus series has highlighted many of their studies, exploring topics such as self-directed care, employment supports, peer providers, and health and wellness. Other studies have explored mental health conditions in people with other disabilities, such as traumatic brain injury.

Care and Recovery

Self-Directed Care May Help People with Serious Mental Illness Take an Active Role in Their Recovery

Along with Their Care Teams, People with Psychiatric Conditions Can Make Their Treatment Needs Known Before a Crisis Hits

Brief Coaching Can Help Youth Receiving Wraparound Services Become More Engaged in Their Treatment Planning

Support Services Teams May Help People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions Receive Support in Their Communities and Reduce Medicaid Costs

Recovery Is Possible for People with Serious Mental Illnesses

Self-Directed Care: A Promising Path to Enhance Recovery for People with Serious Mental Illness


For Young African American Men with Substance Use Disorders, VR May Be a Promising Path to Employment

A Guided Career Planning Program May Help Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges Achieve Their Goals

Black Young Adults with Serious Mental Illness Experience Barriers to Vocational Growth, Find Support from Vocational Counselors Who Seek to Understand Their Needs

Self-Employment May Be a Promising Path to Build Income for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Picturing Work: A New Program for Vocational Empowerment May Help People with Psychiatric Disabilities Pursue Work

For Youths with Mental Health Disorders Who Were Involved with the Criminal Justice System, Education is Critical for Job Success

Community Participation

Can Social Media Help People with Serious Mental Illness Feel More Connected to Their Community?

For People with Psychiatric Disabilities, Neighborhood Factors May Affect Acceptance and Community Involvement

Parents with Serious Mental Illnesses May Face More Scrutiny from Child Protective Services

Parents with Psychiatric Disabilities May Benefit from Accessible, Affordable Legal Supports

Community Mental Health Center Visits May Increase Community Participation for People with Serious Mental Illness

Adults with Mental and Behavioral Health Disorders Describe COVID-19’s Impact and Resilience-Building Strategies Through Social Support, Emotion Management, and Self-Care

Balancing Work and Family Can be Tough for Caregivers of Children with Behavioral Health Disabilities

Peer Supports

Tips on Promoting Job Success for Peer Providers at Community Mental Health Agencies

Peer Support Specialists May Offer Unique Support for People with Psychiatric Disabilities in Finding and Keeping Jobs

Informants Share Insights on Peer Supports for Parents with Serious Mental Illnesses

A Peer-Led Health Management Program May Benefit Health, Hopefulness, and Employment for People with Serious Mental Illness

Health and Wellness

How Do You Motivate Smokers with Serious Mental Illness to Commit to Quitting?

A New Program Shows Promise in Helping People with Serious Mental Illness Fight Obesity and Embrace Wellness

For People with Serious Mental Illness, Getting Out and About May be Good for the Brain

Mental Health and Other Disabilities

People with other disabilities can also find their mental health impacted. Our series looked at the intersection of mental health and non-mental health disabilities in these articles:

Anxiety May Be an Issue for People with Moderate TBI

For People with Traumatic Brain Injury, Early Depression and Behavior Problems May Be Connected

Adults with Cerebral Palsy May Have Elevated Risk of Some Mental Health Disorders

A Brief Couples Therapy Program May Provide Needed Supports for Partners of People with Brain Injuries

We invite you to share these articles with your community as part of Mental Health Month. The Research In Focus series is developed in collaboration with the NIDILRR research community. Each summary is written in plain language and is reviewed by study authors. Individual issues are available in English and Spanish and can be distributed or republished without prior permission. 

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