Research Issues for Mental Health Consumers/Survivors


10 PDP hours

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Joan Rapp, MEd, CAGS


The online course lectures are designed to help mental health consumer/survivors to begin to acquire a basic literacy in research concepts and terms. It is intended to help consumer/survivors to appreciate the importance of research in their lives and to become aware of the possible roles they might play in a research project.

The online lectures will include information about some of the types, tools, and principles in good research. Consumer/survivors are encouraged to be curious about possible research questions, about ways to improve the research process, and about the results of any research they might participate in. Numerous links and additional resource lists are provided if the participant should wish to get more in-depth information about the various aspects of research.


It is anticipated that participants will achieve the following goals:

  • Learn some basic concepts and terms used in research.
  • Be aware of the various roles consumer/survivors can play in a research study.
  • Be aware of consumer/survivor rights in the research process.
  • Expect to get the results of research studies the are involved in and to consider what the results might mean in actual practice.


Many individuals contributed their time and their thoughts to develop this online course. We acknowledge them all, especially: Phillipe Bloch, Judi Chamberlin, Dennis Dizon, Marsha Ellison, Marianne Farkas, Andrew Heusser, Sue McNamara, Sally Rogers, Zlatka Russinova, and Janel Tan from the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation; Pat Deegan, Jonathan Delman, and Steve Onken from the Center’s Advisory Council; and members of the Ruby Rogers Center.


Ms. Rapp is currently involved in developing training opportunities and training materials for the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.  She has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, Supervisor, Administrator and Program Development Specialist in Psychiatric Rehabilitation for the past 38 years. She was employed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission for ten years in various capacities including Mental Health Program Supervisor, and developed innovative vocational programs and interagency agreements.  For 28 years she worked for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health primarily in developing and overseeing community mental health services including the full range of treatment, case management, residential, vocational and support services.  She helped to found M-POWER, consumer advocacy organization and the New England Chapter of IAPSRS (now USPRA).  She has had particular interests and experiences in the area of supported employment and supported education.  She has supervised housing and benefits specialists and worked on numerous residential development strategies in many North Shore communities. She was also involved in pilot projects which address homelessness through specialized employment services and has worked with homeless men in a substance abuse facility.

Joan Rapp, MEd, CAGS

Boston University
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
940 Commonwealth Avenue West, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-3549


There are no required texts for this course.

Recommended Texts

Peer Run Program (2005). Common ingredients and performance measures.
In S. Clay, B. Schell, P. Corrigan, and R. Ralph (Eds.), On our own together (chapter 11). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt Press.

Need for Research and “Transformation” of Mental Health Services, New Freedom Commission Final Report. Goal 5. Report/FullReport.htm

Clinical Trials, is#/what is


After participating in the online course, participants will be required to pass a 50-question test with 70% or better.

Send the completed test and evaluation form to:

Sue McNamara, MS, CRC, CPRP

Professional Development Program
Boston University
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
940 Commonwealth Avenue West, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215

After successful completion of the course, participants will earn a certificate of participation for 10 PDP hours. Professional Development Program hours may be used for continuing education purposes.


You may register for the online course at any time and complete the course at any time — there are no time requirements at all.

Cost: $50

Registration provides access to the course lecture pages and downloadable course handouts and materials.

printable registration for mail and fax orders