Dear friends and colleagues:
Live & Learn was founded in August 2014 on the idea that if we are to use science to improve mental health systems, it is essential that people with personal experience of mental health services meaningfully contribute to research. To support that kind of involvement, we need to invest in sustainable infrastructure.
My lifelong mission has been to conduct research that improves public policy so that no one has to endure what I did in the psychiatric, special education, and disability systems. I believe that there is a lot to be gained from partnering across stakeholder groups and institutions. However, incorporating diverse perspectives into concrete research and policy projects can be quite a challenge!
Live and learn is not just a company, it's a mantra. I'm still working on figuring it all out, but I am proud of what has been built so far with the support of our partners and clients.
My vision for the next two years is to develop our infrastructure so that we can create greater opportunities for involvement and meaningful impact. Below you will find a list of outputs from Live & Learn and our partners that I hope will spark your ideas!
- PeerRespite.net was launched in January 2016, and had over 2,000 visitors from every U.S. State in the first 6 months.
- We conducted a biennial nationwide survey of peer respite programs. Read reports from 2014 and 2016.
- Following publication of the Toolkit for Evaluating Peer Respites in 2014, Bevin Croft and Laysha Ostrow published an article in Psychiatric Services on the need for more robust evaluations to inform program development with better science.
- In collaboration with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations, under contract with the Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission, we completed a project that uses data to improve advocacy. You can read the public report here.
- With a pilot grant from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, the Psychiatric Medication Discontinuation/ Reduction study concluded data collection with over 200 responses. We are now analyzing the data to report to stakeholders, respondents, and in academic publications, as well as preparing grant applications to conduct more research. Watch for our report later this year!
- The Early Career Data Connections Initiative with Temple University provides access to data and professional networking for junior investigators who take a "lived experience perspective" to their research.
- University of New Mexico engaged our services to assist in dissemination of results from their PCORI-funded trial of peer support in New Mexico.
- With support in-part from NEC, we provided technical assistance to the following states/localities on peer respite evaluation:
- San Francisco, California
- Santa Cruz County, California
- Nevada County, California
- Sonoma County, California
- Trinity County, California
- Gainesville, Florida
- Seattle, Washington