Live & Learn, Inc. conducts projects that generate and disseminate actionable information related to peer support, employment and workforce development, program implementation/sustainability, and service user experiences.

Self-Employment & Entrepreneurship

Under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Live & Learn, Inc. developed a Phase I prototype for Reclaiming Employment, an online capacity-building program that will provide access to resources to which may not otherwise be available, featuring resource links (“Library”), educational courses (“Courses”), and social support (“Social”) related to starting and sustaining a small business as a self-employed individual with a psychiatric history.

Reclaiming Employment builds upon the Self Employment Starts with You (SESY) study, which used qualitative and survey data to examine self-employment as a strategy to improve career options for individuals with a psychiatric disability.

Career outcomes study

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Live & Learn, Inc., in partnership with the Center on Mental Health Services Research & Policy at the University of Illinois, Chicago and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, will conduct a three-year, national study of employment outcomes of individuals who have obtained a certified peer specialist (CPS) credential. CPSs are mental health workers who have a psychiatric history and use this lived experience plus formal training to support other people with psychiatric histories. The overarching goal of this study is to produce new scientific knowledge about how the CPS certification process contributes to new graduates’ employment outcomes and opportunities for career advancement, regardless of whether they work in peer support. is a comprehensive online resource dedicated to public dissemination and implementation efforts to help communities create effective, sustainable crisis alternatives through independent peer-run programs. Peer respites are voluntary, short-term, overnight programs that provide community-based, non-clinical crisis support to help people find new understanding and ways to move forward. They operate 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.

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