The Institute is the home to researchers whom are national leaders in a broad range of behavioral health issues impacting diverse populations with a special emphasis on improving the lives of people using public mental health and services to address substance misuse.
Current projects focus on the relationships among social characteristics and mental health outcomes including access to education, employment, stigma and discrimination experienced by people with serious mental illness, understanding the ways experiences of discrimination contribute to poor mental health and addiction outcomes, and mental health promotion strategies.
The work is informed by our knowledge of the importance of meeting the needs of people with multiple health and social challenges, including co-morbidities among behavioral health and medical issues, as well as the socio-economic and neighborhood contexts of the lives of urban populations.
In addition, Institute researchers have led the development, implementation and evaluation of nationally recognized behavioral health programs in partnership with city, state and Federal agencies.
These interventions are designed to support people as they manage and recover from the challenges associated with mental illness, substance misuse, and trauma.
Our work also examines the impact of several US drug- and health-related laws (e.g., prescription drug monitoring programs, medical marijuana laws) on substance use, drug and alcohol treatment, and overdose, among people who inject drugs and women with HIV and the pathways through with these laws shape HIV viral suppression among people with HIV.
This research will generate evidence concerning whether and how drug- and health-related laws influence substance use, overdose, and drug and alcohol treatment among key populations in the US, and inform future policy responses and structural interventions.
Finally, we have led the way in developing expanded strategies for increasing community involvement in the research process and in particular the use Community-Based Participatory Research methods in mental health research.