Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences:
Sargent College

Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College

How We Work

Since its inception, the Center has been guided by the same mission, values and goals

The Center has three main divisions that are involved in the mental health and rehabilitation fields: 1) Research, 2) Services, and 3) Training, Technical Assistance and Dissemination. These divisions operate synergistically in that, while innovations for programs and services can arise from any one of these three divisions, other divisions can be involved in bringing them to fruition and addressing the Center’s mission.

This cycle includes: identifying and developing needed innovations for the field, testing innovations in programs and services, conducting research and evaluation studies to determine if the innovations effective and finally, dissemination and diffusing the innovation. For example, an idea for a new approach to services, or a new intervention or method of service delivery can be stimulated through the experiences of staff in our Training, Dissemination and Technical Assistance Division as they work in the field. This idea for a new innovation can be piloted in our Services Division, evaluated by our Research Division, and then sent back to the mental health and rehabilitation fields through the efforts of the Training, Dissemination and Technical Assistance Division.

This cycle of identifying, developing, testing and disseminating innovations can help to close the “Know-Do” gap in services where we may “know” of a best or promising practice, but uptake in the field takes years. Some refer to this as the “Science-to-Practice” divide, that is, the failure of researchers, service personnel and experts in training and dissemination to work together to make needed advances in the field. The Center’s three divisions working together attempt to address these gaps.

Values that define the Center

People living with the experience of serious psychiatric disabilities or mental illness:

  • Have the same aspirations as any other citizen in society.
  • Recovery is not only possible, but a reality.
  • Recovery pathways include, among others: meaningful, satisfying work; living in a desirable setting of your own choice; socializing with those important to you; and getting the education you want and need to achieve your goals.

Recovery-oriented practices include those that have a “person orientation” or a focus on people’s talents, strengths, aspirations, and the full-human experience; that focus choice and self-determination; that promote hope or a belief in the inherent possibility of growth; and that involve individuals with a lived experience of a psychiatric condition as partners.

The Center strives to achieve these practices in all of its work.