December 2017 eCast

In this edition of the eCast

  • Visit from Tipper Gore
  • A New Resource for Families
  • Need to work on some continuing education over the holidays?
  • Request for Proposals for the PRA 41st Annual Wellness & Recovery Summit
  • Interactive Map of U.S. Peer Specialist Certification Programs
  • Pledge to Expand our College Mental Health Services
  • LinkedIn Group: Employing People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Visit from Tipper Gore

In the early 1990s, the IBM Corporation announced an initiative that would provide IBM assistance in developing job-training centers for community-based agencies working with people living with disabilities. The training was to focus on developing office computer skills, which would prepare trainees to become employed doing word processing, spreadsheets, and other digital work that was rapidly emerging in the workplace. The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation applied to be one of IBM’s training sites to work with people living with mental health challenges. In 1993, the program was awarded an IBM grant and began operating a classroom based computer training called, Training for the Future (TFTF). The IBM Corporation assisted in setting up a computer lab (which is still operating) with IBM computers and in developing a business advisory council to partner with the program in finding post-training internships and employment. Training for the Future was a 6 -month full-time employment training program and followed by a 160-hour internship upon completion of the skills-based classroom training. The employment outcomes were very positive with 64% of participants employed or volunteering 12 months after starting the program.

TFTF came to the attention of Tipper Gore, who at the time was the wife of Vice President Al Gore, Vice President to President Clinton. Tipper agreed to be the keynote speaker at a 1997 graduation ceremony for TFTF, and we considered ourselves very fortunate to have had her presence at that event.

Fast forward about 20 years… Tipper Gore was being honored at a Boston University as a distinguished alumnus (she graduated from Boston University) and paid a second visit to our Center in October of this year. We were able to share with her the innovations we have undertaken in the past two decades since she visited and to describe the many ways in which there has been continuity of our mission and services.

A New Resource for Families 

The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University announces a new resource for families who wish to support their family member in getting and keeping employment. “Let’s Talk Employment: A Guide to Employment for Family Members” provides a narrative and links on 15 major topics related to employment. The value of employment to persons in recovery cannot be underestimated. Families can be extremely helpful in promoting successful employment, and this Guide is an effort to support families and job seekers in their quest.

This resource is a companion to the Family portion of the Employment Repository (launched last year), which also is a resource for helping families who want to be supportive around employment issues. The repository is provided in an interactive question and answer format and allows the user to search for the desired information with more of a focus on the process of employment choices.

Please share these two resources with families and family organizations that you think may be interested. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

Need to work on some continuing education over the holidays?

The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University offers a Professional Development Program (PDP) that allows you to earn PDP hours in psychiatric rehabilitation towards continuing your education. There is no educational prerequisite for taking the Professional Development Program options. Individuals with varied backgrounds and experience are welcome.

The self-paced study options include Online Courses and a Book + Testing format. For more information, go to: .

If you would like to work on these distance learning options over the holidays, please register no later than Monday, December 18, 2017.

Request for Proposals for the PRA 41st Annual Wellness & Recovery Summit 

The Summit will be held June 14-18, 2018 in Denver, CO.
You may submit proposals on the application site.

Interactive Map of U.S. Peer Specialist Certification Programs 

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Center on Integrated Health Care & Self-Directed Recovery announces its interactive map of U.S. mental health peer certification programs. Use the map to learn the status of each state’s certification program, whether its peer services are Medicaid-reimbursable, and the number of specialists trained thus far. The Center is funded by NIDILRR and CMHS.

Pledge to Expand our College Mental Health Services 

The Development Division of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation received a pledge of $600,000 over the next three years to expand our College mental health services, including NITEO, BU LEAD, and College coaching. This includes replication and technical assistance at other colleges and universities to assist them in retaining students coping with mental health challenges as well as assisting other students to re-enter college who are on a medical leave. The donor has asked to be unnamed.

LinkedIn Group: Employing People with Psychiatric Disabilities

If you are a person in recovery, employer, or supporter of people with psychiatric disabilities, we invite you to join the Center’s new LinkedIn group. For more information, or to join, please visit our LinkedIn page.


This project was developed under a grant with funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and from the Center for Mental Health Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services (NIDILRR grant 90RT5029). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this project do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.