Creating job opportunities for people with psychiatric disabilities at a university-based research center

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Clinical and Population Health Research; Center for Mental Health Services Research; Center for Health Policy and Research



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

*Academic Medical Centers; Adult; Employment; Female; Humans; Inservice Training; Male; Mental Disorders; *Mental Health Services; Research Personnel; Time Factors




The consumer empowerment movement has led to an increase in opportunities for people with psychiatric disabilities to take on roles in the development and delivery of mental health services. However, to date there has been less involvement of people with psychiatric disabilities in services research. In this paper, we describe our experiences creating employment opportunities for people with psychiatric disabilities in a university-based mental health services research center. Working with two local clubhouse programs we developed research assistant positions using both transitional and supported employment approaches. We describe the development of the jobs, employee characteristics, the orientation and training provided to new employees, job characteristics and typical responsibilities, supports and accommodations provided to employees, boundary issues we encountered, and the perspectives of employees on rewards and challenges of the jobs. We offer recommendations to mental health researchers wishing to create these types of opportunities for people with psychiatric disabilities.

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Citation: Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2002 Fall;26(2):181-90.

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID