Basics/Fundamentals of Community Inclusion


Documents that focus on the definitions, justifications, theories, life domains, and/or research-based fundamentals of the community inclusion approach to community mental health care can be found here. Resources relevant to specific populations – those in the LBGTQI community, or older adults, etc. – are also addressed in this section.  Readers can use these materials to broaden their own understanding of the field, as the basis for consumer and/or staff educational programs, or refer to these documents in program or funding proposals.


Hard To Be Out There If We Are Focused on Here

Peer/Recovery/Wellness/Drop-in Centers have always played an important, innovative, and somewhat alternative role in the mental health system. This document offers suggestions that were developed in partnership with Center staff and allies for how these settings can expand their efforts to promote community inclusion and participation.




Jump-Starting Community Inclusion: A Toolkit for Promoting Participation in Community Life

This toolkit contains sixty-six practical first steps that community mental health providers can take to more effectively support their service recipients’ participation in everyday community life.   This compendium of simple strategies – drawn from fifteen years of research and training activities at the NIDILRR- funded Temple University RRTC on Community Living and Participation – focuses on policy changes, programming shifts, and practice innovations that can quickly give new life and relevance to your agency’s operations.  The   Toolkit offers a set of do-able strategies, along with links to over 100 publications and products to support your work.



Well Together – A Blueprint for Community Inclusion: Fundamental Concepts, Theoretical Frameworks and Evidence

In spring 2016, The Temple University Collaborative spent a week in Australia bringing one of their major community mental health providers – Wellways – up-to-date on the emerging research findings and best practices models to promote community inclusion for individuals with mental health conditions. To inform their ongoing initiative to transform services in Melbourne, Tasmania, and Canberra into a ‘next generation’ provider and advocacy organization, Wellways funded the Temple University Collaborative to develop agency-specific products and trainings. These trainings and products offered a current look at the fundamental principles of community inclusion and implementation strategies that help make engagement in community life a reality for those living with mental health conditions.

The Temple University Collaborative’s Director, Mark Salzer, and Knowledge Translation Director, Richard Baron, prepared a 120 page overview of: a) the definitions of community inclusion and documented justifications for making community inclusion a priority service development focus; b) the theoretical justifications for promoting community inclusion for individuals with disabilities; c) eleven core principles of community inclusion policies, programs, and practices and their research origins; and d) and a multi-sided view of community inclusion from consumer and family, clinical and rehabilitation, and community perspectives.

Dr. Salzer and Mr. Baron then joined Wellways consumers, executives, staff, board, and community members for a week in May 2016, for a series of public discussions and plenary presentations, and small change-oriented training programs in Melbourne, Tasmania, and the national capitol of Canberra. Wellway’s response was enthusiastic – at both executive and direct service levels – and planning initiatives are now underway both to broaden the commitment of the agency to community inclusion outcomes and to engage and support individuals and organizations that can help to establish ‘welcoming communities’ throughout the region.

Building An Online Presence: Using Online Media to Promote Community Inclusion

This toolkit provides suggestions for promoting community living and participation of individuals with mental health conditions through social media and web-based communication. It examines how agencies can use websites, newsletters, and various social media platforms to: (1) connect individuals to mainstream community resources; (2) highlight instances of community participation; and (3) stay active in producing community inclusion related content on their online media.


Using Social Media to Enhance Community Participation

Looking for ways to be more active in your community? This manual examines ways in which individuals with mental illnesses can use social media networks to enhance community participation. Social media features and functions are examined as well as specific networks such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, MeetUp, and Yelp. Also reviewed are considerations and risks when using social media.



A Report from the 2017 Summer Institute on Community Inclusion

This brief document reports on the proceedings of the Temple University Collaborative’s 2017 Summer Research Institute on Community Inclusion, a two-day on-campus working session reviewing its current research in the field of community inclusion of individuals with psychiatric disabilities, and related training and technical assistance activities.  Institute evaluation results from the 200 participants – including researchers, consumers, practitioners, and policy-makers – are provided, along with a useful summary of participants recommendations for the ‘next generation’ of community inclusion research activities that can advance the field.

Behavioral Health Managed Care Entities: Important Partnerships in Promoting Community Inclusion

This toolkit suggests a dozen practical strategies that behavioral managed care companies (BHMC) can use to facilitate service participation in their communities, and provides readings and key resources  for the BHMC’s to use in these initiatives – including revised mission statements, staff training options, program evaluation tools, etc.

Community Participation and Inclusion: Shifting Perspectives on Quality Measures

This monograph reviews recommendations from the Temple University Collaborative that encourage the behavioral managed care industry, as well as federal, state, and local mental health administrators to systematically assess the community participation needs of service recipients and the success of provider agencies in meeting those needs



The County Mental Health Administrators’ Toolkit for Promoting Community Inclusion

This 27-page document addresses the roles that mental health administrators at the county level can play in promoting community inclusion, with an emphasis on policy development, establishing funding priorities, encouraging system-wide and staff training, and evaluating outcomes. The document briefly reviews each of the key functions of county mental health executives and discusses the ways in which each of these can be used to broaden the understanding, implementation, evaluation, and funding of community inclusion initiatives. Authored by two leading county mental health executives from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the document draws on the experiences of county mental health decision makers from across the country. A useful Appendix to the toolkit provides additional resources, checklists, and references.



Cultural Competence in Mental Health

This brief document discusses discrimination based on age, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, class, and religion, with suggestions on how service provides can incorporate cultural competency standards into their daily practice, with an emphasis on how culture plays an important role in how people with mental illnesses express themselves, cope with stress, and meet life’s challenges.


Funding the Future: Managing your Money and Building Your Assets

This toolkit addresses one of the most important components of community inclusion, managing money. Based on information gathered from a national survey of rehabilitation programs and consumer-run services, this new publication not only addresses the fundamentals of financial literacy but also offers three asset building strategies. Such strategies include getting a job, beginning a savings program and starting your own business. Additionally, Funding the Future provides various resources and program models from around the nation for consumers to learn more about this area of community living.

Increasing the Community Presence and Participation of People with MH and DD Disabilities

This fourteen-page document provides a series of strategies for promoting community inclusion and addressing the barriers to greater participation in multiple domains of community life, based on a two-day seminar on community integration at a community mental health center in Des Moines, IOWA in 2006.



Into the Thick of Things: Connecting Consumers to Community Life

This 50-page compendium of three-dozen community inclusion initiatives currently provided by a national sample of consumer-run programs for people with psychiatric disabilities provides an inspiring set of alternatives that consumer-run agencies can use as a resource for transforming their own programs – with very helpful contact information for each spotlighted agency.


Managing Risk in Community Inclusion: Promoting the Dignity of Risk and Personal Choice

This 52 page document provides an introduction to the concepts of community inclusion, the types of risk – to consumers, agencies, and communities – that are of concern, and effective strategies to anticipate, minimize, and grapple with risk in ways that continue to promote personal dignity and choice – with a series of useful instruments to plan ahead.



2012 Future Research Recommendations

During the 2011 International Research Conference on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, the Tempe University Collaborative summarized six key areas to target for future research.





NYAPRS 5th Annual Executive Seminar on Systems Transformation: Presentation Summaries

The New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services ( held its 5th annual executive seminar on service transformation policies, integrated care programs and practices, and community inclusion strategies in April 2009. Proceedings of the two-day event – in the form of PowerPoint presentations and handouts – are provided in this compendium.



Philadelphia DBH/MRS Tools for Transformation: Community Integration 

This document is one of a series of resource packets produced by the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health to provide a greater understanding of key recovery concepts for persons in recovery, their family members, service providers, and City staff – a useful training tool as an introduction to recovery and its importance in program design.



Pioneer Center Report

The Pioneer Center for Human Services, in McHenry, IL has been working with the Temple University Collaborative Consulting Service for the past few years to help them broaden and strengthen their commitment to mental health services focused on community inclusion outcomes. In the Summer of 2015, the Pioneer Center asked Temple University Collaborative to conduct an evaluation of their community inclusion policies, programs, and practices, which resulted in both a ‘formative evaluation report detailing their progress thus far and a 15-minute video that captures the voices of service recipients, provider staff, agency administrators, and community members with regard to their engagement in community inclusion programming. We also created a video for this project, which features interviews from community members and industry that you can watch.

The Pioneer Center has indeed re-invented itself, working more closely than ever with individual service recipients to help them set and meet new goals focused on community participation. The center has retrained staff, hired new ‘community inclusion specialists,’ identified public and philanthropic funds to support its new initiative, and begun to revise its mission. Although this emphasis on what is now referred to as ‘community inclusion’ had begun as a special initiative, community inclusion is now the framework for a broader and deeper re-orientation of Pioneer Center’s fundamental goals. This report provides an early look at and assessment of Pioneer Center’s progress in that regard, with quotes from service recipients, staff, and Pioneer Center executive leadership.



Serving Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities in Centers for Independent Living

This revised publication from the Temple University Collaborative provides Center ‘s for Independent Living (CIL) staff with clear and current information to help them better respond to the needs of people in recovery from mental illnesses. Developed in conjunction with CIL staff and mental health consumers from around the country, the revised fact sheet – first issued last year – provides brief responses to twelve frequently asked questions as well as online linkages to websites with more detailed information and instruction for each topic. The publication is designed both for individual staff and for use in staff training programs focusing on this growing portion of the CIL consumer base.


Specific Strategies to Help Make Community Integration a Reality

This compendium of twenty-one specific community integration strategies, across several core life domains, provides guidance to consumers, family members, and public and private agencies in generating new program directions: each of the twenty-one strategies has half-a-dozen implementation steps to provide a starting point for program transformation.



What is Community Integration?

This brief document provides an overview of the emerging fields of community integration and community inclusion. It discusses the basic principles of community inclusion, it’s importance to the recovery process for people with psychiatric disabilities, and the strategies consumers and staff can use – with help from the Temple University Collaborative – in promoting inclusion strategies.



The Collaborative Interim Report: Responses to Presentations and Website Resources

This paper identifies specific strategies that you can use to measure consumer participation in community activities, with separate instrumentation for each of eight domains of community life, providing an effective and wide-used vehicle for assessing your program’s achievements in promoting community inclusion.



                                  Specific Populations



A Mental Health Recovery and Community Integration Guide for GLBTQI Individuals:  What You Need to Know.

The Temple University Collaborative and the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses collaborated on the development of a guidebook providing answers to a series of important questions asked by gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, and questioning individuals with psychiatric disabilities with regard to finding and/or advocating for quality services that are sensitive and inclusive of their needs.





GLBTQI Mental Health: Recommendations for Policies and Services

This document – a companion to the Temple/NAMI Guide for GLBTQI Individuals – reviews important considerations for service providers and policymakers in assessing and eliminating the barriers faced by individuals in the GLBTQI community who are seeking accessible, effective, and sensitive mental health care.



Access to and Inclusion in Behavioral Health Services for GLBTQI Consumers

A statewide task force of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning individuals in Pennsylvania developed a series of recommendations to address disparities in the delivery and appropriateness of behavioral health services between GLBTQI and other mental health service consumers and to help ensure a more welcoming environment for GLBTQI consumers.


Recreation and Leisure for Older Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities

This is a brief set of guidelines providing tips to older adults with psychiatric disabilities to assist them in becoming actively involved in recreation and leisure activities in their communities, along with resources from a wide range of recreation and leisure activity programs.




Self- Advocacy for Older Adults: Information and Resources

This brief ‘community inclusion tool’ provides tips and resources for older adults with psychiatric disabilities: it reviews a range of common concerns for older adults, including those with both psychiatric and general health concerns, and makes recommendations for locating the resources older consumers may need.


















Jump Starting Community Inclusion

The Temple University Collaborative presents a one-hour webinar detailing ten key strategies to promote effective community inclusion policies, programs, and practices that can be used by state, county, and provider community mental health services. The presenters, who have a broad background in research, training, and consultation in the field – share their decade-long experiences in facilitating the recognition, definition, and attainment of community inclusion outcomes for individuals living with serious mental health conditions. Drawing on specific examples of their work across the country in developing organizational capacities to promote community inclusion, the webinar introduces participants to the strategies they can use to assist their service participants in framing satisfying and sustainable engagement in community life.

The script for the webinar can be found here, and the slide here.

What are Environments? (Part 1 of 2)

We sat down with Eugene Brusilovskiy to talk about a concept known as environments in research. In this part Eugene will introduce himself and then talk about what Environments are.

What are Environments? Part 2 of 2

In part 2, Eugene discusses his work looking at the built and social environment of individuals with psychiatric disabilities.The first study compared neighborhoods of adults with serious mental illnesses to those of the general population, while the second study looked at access and availability of community resources for individuals with serious mental illness specifically in Philadelphia, PA.