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Goals & Objectives

  1. Conduct mental health services research to produce new knowledge about the effectiveness, organization, financing and delivery of services to person with severe and persistent mental illnesses.
  2. Disseminate new knowledge about services for person with severe and persistent mental illnesses.
  3. Provide technical support and mentoring to faculty and trainees who are interested in mental health services research.
  4. Collaborate with other divisions in the Department of Psychiatry, other components of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and other mental health services organization to develop mental health services research.

The DSR has worked closely in a partnership with the Department of Psychiatry clinical services over the years, especially the Division of Community Psychiatry. The DSR has been able to utilize Department clinical services as natural laboratories to conduct its studies. The clinical services have benefited directly through the addition of new, model service programs under the Divisions demonstration projects as well as from the more generic enhancements that clinical teaching environments experience, as applied research provides intellectual stimulation, teaching, and self-scrutiny. The DSR has also maintained a close link to Department teaching programs. The model clinical services developed under Division initiatives, for example, the Assertive Community Treatment Program for Homeless Persons with Mental Illness, have provided excellent clinical training experiences for residents and medical students. Division faculty participate actively in the training programs of the Department as teachers and mentors. Finally the Division has worked actively with the community, collaborating with the Baltimore Mental Health Systems, Inc. (the city-wide mental health authority), the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and local advocates for persons with mental illness (Alliance for the Mentally Ill, HealthCare for the Homeless, On Our Own).

The DSR provides core support for faculty who are planning and conducting services research on severe and persistent mental illnesses, including statistical consultation and support, research design consultation, and administrative supports. Among the DSR's major projects, past and current, are the National Evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Program on Chronic Mental Illness (RWJ/NIMH), Implications of Substance Abuse Among Psychiatric Patients (NIDA), Baltimore McKinney Program for the Homeless Mentally Ill (CMHS), Center for Research/Technical Development/Knowledge Dissemination on Housing for the Mentally Ill (CMHS), Patterns of Service Utilization for Schizophrenia (NIMH), the Schizophrenia PORT (AHCPR), the Employment Demonstration Project for Persons with Severe Mental Illness (CMHS), the evaluation of the CMHS ACCESS Program, Evaluation of the NAMI Family to Family Education Program (FFEP), evaluation of Morbidity in Schizophrenia with a Focus on Diabetes, and a Smoking Cessation Program for Persons with Schizophrenia (NIDA).