Improving the Lives of Young People with Serious Mental Health Conditions Through Research & Training

Register for Upcoming Monthly Consultation: "How Youth Partners Collaborate with Family Partners"

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Date/Time: January 21, 2021, 10am PT / 1pm ET

In this call, we will review how youth and family partners support youth, families, and wraparound teams individually and collectively. We will present different principles for how youth and family partners work together, and apply said principles to various scenarios.

Watch Recording of December's Monthly Consultation: "Self-Care in Youth/Young Adult Peer Support"

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In December's call we discussed the importance of self-care for staff and youth clients. The holidays are often a confusing and challenging time for youth involved in systems, and young people can benefit from having a self-care plan. We covered conversational strategies to approach this topic with youth and how to normalize the process of creating a self-care plan. We also included an open discussion of topics and scenarios submitted by participants.

Watch Recording of October's Monthly Consultation: "Clarifying Your Peer Support Role/s"

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The topic of this call from October 22 was "Clarifying Your Peer Support Role/s." Research has shown that role clarity contributes to employees' work satisfaction and retention. We explored what this means in the context of youth/young adult peer support, and shared resources to help with role clarification. We also asked participants about their priorities for future meeting topics.

New Research Briefs on College Students with Foster Care Histories

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These briefs share findings from two studies by researchers from Pathways RTC on college students with foster care histories and self-identified mental health conditions. One study examined results from a randomized controlled trial of the FUTURES model, a post-secondary support and retention program, while the other study explored the perspectives of these students.

'Exploring College Student Identity' journal article

New Journal Article: "Exploring College Student Identity Among Young People With Foster Care Histories and Mental Health Challenges"

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Young adults with foster care histories experience unique barriers to success in postsecondary academic settings, including higher rates of mental health challenges. This study reports the perspectives of college students with foster care histories and self-identified mental health concerns (N=18) about how these factors relate to their post-secondary academic experiences.

'Exploring College Student Identity' journal article

Webinar Recording: "Advanced Skills for Youth- and Young Adult-Driven Practice: Recognizing and Managing the Urge to Lead"

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This webinar used videos drawn from real interactions between young people and providers to demonstrate skills and techniques that providers can use to maintain a youth-/young adult-driven approach, particularly in situations where providers are tempted to "lead" the young person to a new perspective, as when the provider fears that the young person is making a bad or risky choice.

New Journal Article: "EASA Connections: Community-Based Participatory Research to Develop a Peer-Based Early Psychosis Web Resource With Young Adults"

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This article describes a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to develop a peer-driven, web-based, recovery resource for young adults who have experienced early psychosis. The researchers used the CBPR process to collaboratively develop the resource and conducted an iterative usability study to test and refine it.

'EASA Connections: Community-Based Participatory Research' journal article

Watch Recording of November's Monthly Consultation: "Strengths, Passions, Achievements, and Motivators (SPAM)"

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In November's call we discussed how youth peer support specialists (PSSs) engage in strengths-based conversations with young people, using the framework of "Strengths, Passions, Achievements, and Motivators (SPAM)." Discussing strengths can feel uncomfortable, distressing or phony for youth clients. In this call we focused on specific techniques that PSSs can use to help ensure a comfortable and engaging conversation that builds both the PSSs' and the youth's awareness and genuine appreciation of the young person's SPAM.

New e-Learning Tool: "Strengths Conversations"

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When done correctly, a strengths conversation between a provider and a young person can be a positive and engaging experience, as well as a good opportunity for a provider to find out what a young person finds motivating, enjoyable and worthwhile. The module provides examples of successful ways to talk with young people about their strengths, as well as examples of some not-so-successful ways.

AMP E-Module: Strengths Conversations

Watch Webinar Recording: "Supporting Youth Peers During COVID-19"

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COVID-19 has changed the way mental health professionals and youth peers serve their populations, and in doing such many providers may be struggling themselves. This webinar covered how organizations can support youth peer staff; supervision strategies for supporting youth peers; and recommendations on how youth peer support specialists can support their youth while maintaining boundaries.

New Study Guide for e-Learning Tools: "Improvables"

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This study guide accompanies the "Improvables" AMP e-Modules, which take the viewer through a video of a real interaction between a provider and a young person, allowing them to stop along the way and explore how the provider's responses can either support or impede the goal of having a youth-driven conversation. The study guide provides questions for discussion and reflection, along with links to additional resources. It is our goal that youth-service providers use these tools as an opportunity to enhance their skills and to reflect on the "improvables" in their own practice.

AMP E-Module Study Guide for 'Improvables'