Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College:
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College:
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Dr. Lisa Augustine (she/her/hers), MB BCh (WITS), Dip HIV Man (SA), MHRT/C, is a Visiting Fellow from Johannesburg, South Africa at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College at Boston University. Lisa is a people-first medical doctor and mental health rehabilitation technician who has worked with clients with serious mental illness in in-patient, forensic and community psychiatric settings. She believes in preventative and rehabilitative mental health strategies and views trauma-informed practice, cultural humility, connection, and storytelling as keys to unlocking human potential. Lisa is passionate about helping young adult minorities transcend social and cultural barriers to achieve their sense of purpose and self-agency. Lisa will be working as an instructor and coach for the Service Division’s College Mental Health Educational Programs (CMHEP) and will be undertaking collaborative research during her time at the Center. Lisa will also be partnering with the Newbury Center to support first-generation undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at Boston University.

Andrew Best, MA works in the College Mental Health Educational Program (CMHEP) at Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College at Boston University. Andrew is an instructor in the NITEO program, a semester-long simulation of college that provides instruction and practice in both academic and wellness skills. Beyond being an instructor in NITEO, he provides College Coaching and teaches a wellness and academic resiliency course called LEAD BU . He is passionate about providing students of all backgrounds and abilities access to materials and instruction that will help them find scholastic and interpersonal success. Andrew has worked with and in diverse populations and settings. He brings a unique combination of culture and experience from his time in Malaysia on a Fulbright to climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Areas of Expertise

  • Teaching strategies for academic success and skills for interpersonal relationships
  • Creating community amongst staff and students

Anna-Mariya Kirova, LCSW works in the College Mental Health Educational Program (CMHEP) at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College at Boston University. Anna-Mariya joined the team in March 2022 and is very excited to be a part of a vibrant community where creativity, mental health, diversity, and teamwork are celebrated daily. Anna-Mariya is an instructor and coach in the NITEO, CMHEP, and College Coaching programs. She brings a unique public health lens to her work at the center and cares deeply for the individuals she works with while keeping in mind the broader systemic challenges they may face. Anna-Mariya hopes to continue promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives across the center and assisting in new and ongoing program implementation and evaluation initiatives.

Areas of Expertise
• Applying trauma informed practices in individual and group work
• Utilizing public health frameworks such as the social-ecological model when conceptualizing student concerns and mental health challenges and when planning programs and interventions
• Advocating for inclusive best practices in the workplace

Anneliese de Wet is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University. She completed her PhD in Psychology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa in December 2020. For her dissertation she developed an individual measure of recovery for a South African context by exploring the understanding of recovery for persons, their carers and their service providers, as well as the barriers and facilitators of recovery. This was the first such measure developed for a South African context. Anneliese is particularly interested in peer support work. She would like to contribute to the firm establishment of professional peer support work as a resource, and the empowerment of persons through peer support work, in South Africa.

Another related interest she has, is positive psychological ways of addressing mental health challenges, such as stigma. She is conducting an independent study at the Center, focused on exploring workplace stigma resistance and the mechanisms thereof among peer support specialists. Anneliese is also engaged in other research at the Center amongst which is in a randomised controlled trial testing the effectiveness of a coaching intervention to address peer specialists’ stress and distress on the job. Previously, she explored the lived experience of recovery from first-episode psychosis in a South African sample and worked on a Canadian CIHR-funded international, multi-site study on community engagement in HIV vaccine research.

Selected publications

De Wet, A., & Pretorius, C. (2022). From darkness to light: Barriers and facilitators to mental health recovery in the South African context. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 68(1), 82-89. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764020981126

De Wet, A., & Pretorius, C. (2021). Perceptions and Understanding of Mental Health Recovery for Service Users, Carers and Service Providers: A South African Perspective. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 44(2), 157-165. https://doi.org/10.1037/prj0000460

De Wet, A., Dowling, T., Swartz, L., Lesch, A., Kagee, A., Kafaar, Z., Hassan, N. R., & Newman, P. A. (2020) Complexities in the process of translating research documents in cross-cultural

settings. Global Public Health, 15(6), 818-827. https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2020.1718736

De Wet, A., Swartz, L., Kagee, A., Lesch, A., Kafaar, Z., Hassan, N. R., Robbertze, D., & Newman, P. A. (2020). The trouble with difference: challenging and reproducing inequality in a biomedical HIV research community engagement process. Global Public Health, 15, 22-30. https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2019.1639209

De Wet, A., Swartz, L., & Chiliza, B. (2015). Hearing their voices: The lived experience of recovery from first-episode psychosis in schizophrenia in South Africa. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 61, 27-32. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764014535753

Selected presentations

De Wet, A. (2019). For different clients it will be different: Interviews with service users, service providers and carers regarding the meaning of mental health recovery in the South African context. Oral presentation at the 5th International Refocus on Recovery conference, Nottingham, United Kingdom. 3-5 September 2019

De Wet, A., Pretorius, C., & Parker, J. (2017). The development of a contextually-appropriate measure of individual recovery for mental health service users in the South African context. Poster presentation at the 4th International Refocus on Recovery conference, Nottingham, United Kingdom. 18-20 September 2017.

De Wet, A., Swartz, L., & Chiliza, B. (2015). Hearing their voices: The lived experience of recovery from first-episode psychosis in schizophrenia in South Africa. Oral presentation at the 19th International Society for the Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis Congress, The Cooper Union, New York, United States of America. 18-22 March 2015.

De Wet, A., Swartz, L., & Chiliza, B. (2014). Hearing their voices: The lived experience of recovery from first-episode psychosis in schizophrenia in South Africa. Oral presentation at the 3rd International Refocus on Recovery conference, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom. 2-3 June 2014

Allison Theis, LICSW-MA works in the College Mental Health Educational Program (CMHEP) at Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College at Boston University. Allison, was previously an Intern for the Services Division, working in both CMHEP and the Recovery Education Program, (REC). Allison rejoined the team in Fall 2021, as an instructor in the CMHEP, NITEO,  and College Coach, where Allison never misses an opportunity for inclusive community building, thoughtful feedback or amplifying students voices. Allison brings her expertise and interests of community building, social justice, and accessibility to her role as a supervisor, where she provides a learning opportunity for Services Division Interns, to develop their professional advance their abilities to listen and respond to students and grow in their professional: graduate and undergraduate students, semester based internships to evolve in their professional development.

Areas of Expertise

  • Supervising and coaching staff and student to developing inter-personal skills
  • Building inclusion communities and creating engagement amongst staff and students
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