Promoting Learning and Working during Young Adulthood: Adult System Perspectives

  • Presenters: Maryann Davis, PhD, Director, Marsha Ellison, PhD, Associate Director of Knowledge Translation, Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RTC), University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA; Nancy Koroloff, PhD, Director of Research, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, Portland, OR; Amanda Costa, Research Technician at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, Steven A. Reeder, M.Ed., CPRP, CRC, Director, Office of Adult Services, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Mental Hygiene Administration, Baltimore, MD

    Young adulthood is a critically important time for completing education and training and establishing career foundations that will support independent adult lives. This plenary will present the current research regarding the unique needs of young adults with serious mental health conditions as they set out on this path to more mature adulthood. Knowledge from research and lived experience about interventions that support education, training, and work goals of young adults, and the system context of those interventions will be described. This plenary will also summarize the perspectives of adult service system stakeholders on this topic and their thoughts on how research can help inform adult system change.

 About the Presenters

  • Maryann Davis, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on services for transition age youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions. Her focus is on improving treatments and services for this population that help support the development of adult role functioning during the transition from adolescence to mature adulthood. She has examined the ways in which policies and practices support or impeded the healthy development of this unique age group. Dr. Davis’ work also emphasizes the development of evidence-based interventions that improve this population’s transition into adulthood, including facilitation of mental health and related treatment, and interventions that reduce criminal behavior and substance abuse while supporting the successful completion of education and training, and movement into mature work lives.

  • Nancy Koroloff, Ph.D., is the Director of Research with the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures at Portland State University. She is a Research Professor within the Regional Research Institute for Human Services, a part of the School of Social Work. Throughout her career at PSU, Dr. Koroloff has maintained an active research program supported by external funding. Her research focuses on policy issues and service delivery barriers for young people with serious mental health issues.

  • Marsha Langer Ellison, Ph.D., is a mental health services, psychiatric rehabilitation and disability policy researcher. In her current position at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, she is the Associate Director for Knowledge Translation for the federally funded Transitions Research and Training Center in the Department of Psychiatry. There she directs and participates in research and dissemination activities that support the learning and working goals of youth and young adults (ages 14 -30) with serious mental health conditions.

  • Amanda Costa works as a Research Technician at the University of Massachusetts Medical School on various research and knowledge translation activities which support the transition of youth and young adults with mental health conditions on the path to employment and education. Amanda is passionate about youth mental health and advocacy, and hopes to use her education and lived experience to help other young adults like herself.

  • Steven Reeder, M.Ed., CPRP, CRC has been employed by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Mental Hygiene Administration for approximately thirteen years, curently as Director, Office of Adult Services. Under his leadership and direction, Maryland has been recognized nationally for its groundbreaking efforts in the dissemination and implementation of supported employment, resilience and recovery-oriented services to youth and young adults in transition, and evidence-based and empirically-supported services. These efforts have resulted in increased service penetration and availability, alignment services across multiple state agencies, programmatic efficiencies in service delivery, braiding of multiple funding streams, reduction in administrative process burden for providers, and streamlined access to services for consumers. In recognition of these efforts, Maryland received the 2007 Science to Service Award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and has been acclaimed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).