Center Website Resources

The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The World Wide Web provides an almost unlimited source of information on almost any topic—including issues important to practitioners, consumers, and others in the field of mental health. However, the magnitude of this resource creates new challenges. The overwhelming amount of information now available can be difficult to sort through; and finding what you really need is frequently time consuming and sometimes defeating. The Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation has endeavored, through its website, to provide a central location with readable and useful information about some of the major issues facing individuals living with serious mental illnesses and those who support them in their journey to recovery. This newsletter highlights the many valuable resources you can find there:

  • videos,
  • articles,
  • curricula,
  • tools,
  • courses,
  • newsletters, and
  • reports.

Major topics include:

  • recovery from serious mental illness,
  • reasonable accommodations,
  • succeeding at work and school, and
  • wellness.

Across the Site

The Center’s website holds over 1,000 individual web pages organized to provide visitors with information about the Center’s ongoing research, training, and service projects; training and educational opportunities; publications produced by the Center; as well as a wide variety of resources. Each month on average, over 13,000 individuals visit the center’s website; and by far, the Resources section is the most highly trafficked. For example, though not all articles listed on the site are available for free, many are; and each month visitors download over 8,500 articles at no cost. The Resources section is broken up into three major types of information products: repositories, center collections, and specialty items. Each subsection is described more fully in the following paragraphs; and the reverse of this newsletter serves as a desk-side poster for a quick guide to the
many resources located there.

The Resources Section Repositories

These sites within a site are one-stop shopping areas for specific content information.
Broadly speaking, the three major subject areas covered are: Recovery Resources, Reasonable Accommodations, and Health and Wellness. These sections save time that would be spent locating items from all over the web and then screening them to find the ones of actual value. In addition, the sections include links to resources to which search
engines do not have access, such as conference presentations and papers. Resources
within these sections include work from experts in the field and Center staff. The
function of these areas is to make it as easy as possible to find information relevant to
a particular topic.

Reasonable Accommodations for Employers & Educators and Living with Psychiatric Disability in Work & School provide extensive information about the legal rights of individuals with psychiatric disabilities at both work and school. Answers to common questions plus scenarios reflect the point of view of each of the various related audiences: employers, employees, educators, or students.

The Repository of Recovery Resources is a listing of over 95 articles, 26 books, websites, policies and reports; each including brief descriptions along with links. Items
are included based on their ability to support efforts to create recovery-oriented systems
and practices. An added benefit is that many of the resources are available as free downloads.

The Wellness Summit section, developed in conjunction with the Center for Mental Health Services, hosts the proceedings from the National Wellness Summit for People with Mental Illness. The summit addressed the public health crisis of early mortality among people with mental illnesses. This site shares many of the papers and presentations that took place, plus links to resources related to the issues involved.

Center Collections
Developed by Center staff these materials are available in a variety of forms: print, video, and audio. These items were originally created for variety of purposes and were later adapted for use through the website.

The Webcast Collection is comprised of videos originally streamed as live lectures over the internet to university students. Archived as one-hour videos the lectures are available at no cost. Formatted for use by dial up or broadband users the lectures are also available as podcasts or in full-text transcripts for printing. Videos feature William Anthony, James Prochaska, and other notables. Each webcast includes original slides, handouts, full transcripts, and podcast version for offline learning.

How People Have Used the Information

The following represents responses from participants in 2009 Utility Survey that asked about the use and effect of the information from the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

For the 573 participants in the survey:
94% Found that the information made some difference or a great deal of difference in the lives of their peers or people they serve

The information from the Center led to:
70% An increased understanding of recovery from serious mental illnesses
58% An increased understanding of an issue important to them and/or to
the field
39% Assisting in the development of a new program
32% A change in the way their organization relates to individuals with
psychiatric disabilities
14% A shift in their attitude

How the information from the Center was used:
20% As part of their journey in recovery
50% In staff orientation, training and/or supervision
47% In consumer activities or in consumer advocacy
26% In a presentation, paper, or a grant
32% Integrated information into a tool or guide used in services they provide
37% To educate board members, citizens, employers, and others
35% As part of planning changes to services
27% To make system changes
32% To make program changes
35% To change the way they work with consumers

The eCast Collection houses past issues of the Center’s monthly e-newsletter, emailed
each month to over 11,000 subscribers. Each eCast email includes 4 to 6 items, primarily
free resources from throughout the field, described briefly along with links to more information or the download. The archived result is a collection of hundreds of links to free resources meeting a wide variety of needs.

The Article Collection provides a way for people to keep up-to-date on writings by Center experts on current research and issues within the field. Abstracts for articles and book chapters are available with links to a free download or to the journal publisher
for purchase. Over 85 articles are available for immediate download.

The Recovery and Rehabilitation Newsletter Collection holds the downloadable
versions of the 4-page newsletters that highlight a particular event or programs
developed and conducted at the Center along with trends and resources related to
the field of psychiatric rehabilitation.

Additional Resources

The Higher Education Support Toolkit provides disability service staff and health
care staff with a simple way to work with students who are experiencing limitations
arising from their psychiatric disability. Using these worksheets, student and staff together can: identify common disability related limitations; create a take-away handout of resources that are campus specific; explore options for utilizing accommodations; and determine appropriate strategies for use in the classroom.

Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Curriculum delivers training that prepares individuals to become PAS providers for those with psychiatric disabilities. The
curriculum is designed to be used by other individuals with disabilities, mental health
workers, as well as those with no expertise in mental health. Included are: a knowledge
base component and four skill building components (Connecting, Coaching, Collaborating, and Managing Crises), each with a trainer guide and participant

The Recovery Fact Sheet is intended as a way to spread awareness of the reality of
recovery, this one-page fact sheet is for distribution to the public. Topical headings
include: What is recovery? Is recovery possible? and What is recovery like for
someone living with a serious psychiatric disability? In addition, a list of resources provides opportunity for readers to explore additional information on their own and at
their own pace.

Beyond the Shadows of Stigma is an 8-minute online video documenting the works produced by participants in a Photovoice course that serves as an intervention to support the personal empowerment of those living with serious mental illnesses in combating stigma. This powerful video poignantly captures the essence of the experience of stigma through interviews with participants and the works they created.

The Rest of the Website, One Step Further
Beyond the Resources section, there are other opportunities for continued learning about recovery and rehabilitation for individuals with serious mental illnesses. Under Training and Consultation,

Distance Learning courses are available at a range of costs; and most provide educational units for practitioners and others seeking to attain or maintain certification. You’ll also find the gateway to the Innovations Institute, the online video courses based on presentations by notables at the popular “From Innovations to Practice” conference.

The Publications Division of the Center has a commerce site with in-depth descriptions
and excerpts of books, curricula, and other products created by Center staff. The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal also has its home in the Products & Publications

A Work in Progress

A website is always a work in progress. As new information products become available, website content must be reorganized so that information remains easily navigable by visitors. Screening outside resources for inclusion into repositories and new technologies create new opportunities for providing information. For that reason, we recommend that you drop in on the site regularly. The home page highlights new additions to the site. An alternative is to sign up for the eCast, the Center’s monthly e-newsletter. In addition to the many other resources featured, it serves to notify readers about new items made available on the site. Practitioners, consumers, administrators, and many others have found these resources to be instrumental in increasing their understanding of recovery and rehabilitation; and of direct use in practice within the field of mental health. We trust that you, too, will find resources that are both relevant and useful. This is a time of  transformation toward a vision of hope and recovery and we at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University hope that the resources at this website can assist you in your efforts.