Projects & Intiatives

The Self Employment Starts with You (SESY) study used qualitative and survey data to examine self-employment as a strategy to improve career options and financial outcomes for individuals with a psychiatric disability. People who are labeled with mental disorders experience high rates of unemployment, discrimination, and lack of access to education and work opportunities. Self-employment can be a uniquely valuable option for improving career outcomes, and provide opportunities for creative and economic independence. The goal was to understand the experience of current business owners, and provide useful information to aspiring business owners. is a comprehensive online resource dedicated to dissemination and implementation efforts to help communities create effective, sustainable crisis alternatives through independent peer-run programs. Live & Learn created to provide public access to information about research, technical assistance, resources, and a program directory. Peer respites are voluntary, short-term, overnight programs that provide community-based, trauma-informed, and person-centered crisis support and prevention 24 hours per day in a homelike environment.

The Psychiatric Medication Discontinuation/Reduction study (PMDR) is the first U.S. survey of a large sample of longer-term users who chose to discontinue psychiatric medications. The study, funded by the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care and led by current and former users of psychiatric medications, sought to understand first-hand experiences and strategies of individuals who decided to discontinue psychiatric medications, and either stopped or reduced the use of these medications.

This initiative facilitates connections between junior investigators and researchers at the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities to provide people early in their careers access to large, federally-funded data sets to conduct publishable analyses.  Involvement in this project will provide junior investigators professional networking opportunities with researchers outside of the home institution, and promote expanded knowledge and expertise in mental health services and quantitative analysis. 

California Stakeholder Advocacy Measuring and Monitoring Strategy

Under contract with the California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO), Live & Learn explored potential strategies to measure and monitor the impact of stakeholder advocacy – particularly by people with lived experience of the mental health system – on decisions affecting the public mental health system in California. Stakeholder advocacy includes activities by people directly affected by policy decisions to guide or change these decisions through collective action. CAMHPRO outlined a brief history of advocacy in Mental Health Consumer Movement 101: The story of a social change movement and developed a Glossary of Mental Health System Terms.

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