We’re excited to announce that the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has received funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research for another five years (2018-2023) as a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on independent living and community participation of individuals with a serious mental illness. During the next five years Temple Investigators will partner with experts from Live and Learn Inc, the University of South Florida, and the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery to achieve our mission of conducting research that identifies factors and interventions that enhance community inclusion and promotes opportunities for people with mental health issues to fully participate in their communities as active and equal members.  This work supports United States laws and policies, especially those associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Supreme Court Olmstead Decision.

Over the next five years, our inclusive team of investigators will be conducting an ambitious series of studies that will again significantly advance knowledge about community inclusion and participation.

  1. Peer-facilitated interventions to promote mobility: The ability to get around in one’s community has a major impact on community participation. This study tests two interventions to enhance mobility, one involving bike share and the other training in the use of public transportation. Both interventions are peer-facilitated, continuing our long-term efforts to identify interventions that are consistent with a peer support ethos – successful living in the community.
  2. Internet-based study of “Action over Inertia”: This study examines a structured intervention for promoting community participation delivered online that incorporates peer support. It continues our Center’s efforts to develop and test online interventions that may be more accessible.
  3. Enhancing Parenting and Family Outcomes Through Family-Based Leisure: Our Center has long-term interests in enhancing supports for parents with mental health issues. This study assesses a Parenting Through Leisure (PTL) intervention focusing on increasing knowledge about the benefits of core and balance family leisure activities for both parents and children.
  4. Photovoice to Promote Campus Engagement of College Students with Mental Illnesses: This study explores the efficacy of a novel Photovoice-Peer Support (PPS) intervention aimed at enhancing campus engagement for students with serious mental illnesses. It is based upon a previous study where we found students to be highly engaged and reported many positive outcomes.
  5. Exploring Targets for Promoting Community Participation: This large sample study will identify potential mechanisms and novel targets for future interventions to support community participation of people with serious mental illnesses. Areas that will be explored include the relationships between participation, neurocognitive abilities, metacognitive abilities, self-regulation, environmental factors, stigma and trauma.
  6. Identifying Coordinated Specialty Care Programs that Promote Participation: Coordinated Specialty Care programs for individuals with early psychosis are blossoming throughout the country. A focus on promoting participation in areas that young people desire is believed to be an important component to enhance service engagement. This study will identify programs around the country that are focused most heavily on promoting community participation.
  7. Understanding Participation in Non-Urban Communities: One of the most frequently asked questions the Temple Collaborative gets is how to specifically promote inclusion and participation in less urban areas. This participatory action research study addresses community living and participation issues faced by individuals with SMI in rural areas by hosting consortiums and convergences of key stakeholder groups to identify what participation means to them and what are the key facilitators and barriers to inclusion and participation.

In addition to our research activities, we will continue to be a resource for consumers, providers, and policy makers. We have a number of exciting training projects planned that use innovative strategies to change policies, programs, and practices. For example, we have plans for developing a series of TedEd training materials and also hosting our very own podcast! To continue our work promoting welcoming spaces, we will work with mainstream organizations such as the National Recreation and Parks Association and the American Library Association to identify and develop training for staff to create welcoming and inclusive environments. As always, we continue to respond to requests for training and ongoing technical assistance. We’re excited about the next 5 years and look forward to your full inclusion in these activities!