VISN 5 MIRECC – Putting Recovery Into Practice
The mission of the VISN 5 MIRECC is to support and enhance the recovery and community functioning of Veterans with serious mental illness. Our integrated programs of research, education, and clinical training and consultation focus on the development, evaluation, and implementation of recovery-oriented evidence-based treatments and services for these Veterans.
MIRECC News Spotlight
White Paper on Peer Housing Location Assistance Groups - In 2003 the VA Central Office asked the VISN-5 MIRECC to help conduct a 6-site national field test of an innovative program to help Veterans resolve homelessness by securing permanent and independent housing. Called the PHLAG program (Peer Housing Location Assistance Group), this intensive program was successful in all 6 sites. This year, the VHA National Homeless Programs office learned about PHLAG. Informed by our implementation and evaluation reports from the initial field test, their white paper has now been released to inform VA sites nationally about the PHLAG model, which is also featured on their webpage of innovative practices.
Featured Educational Products
Social Skills Training (SST) is a treatment procedure that has been developed to directly address social problem-solving skills deficits with the goal of enhancing social functioning. SST interventions are tailored to meet the real-life, current-day difficulties that affect the social experiences of each Veteran, but several common core elements are present regardless of which specific skills are being taught. In general, SST is a highly structured educational procedure that employs didactic instruction, breaking skills down into discrete steps, modeling, behavioral rehearsal (role-playing), and social reinforcement. Learn more.
Older Veterans with serious mental illness (SMI) who receive services in VA Community Living Centers (CLCs, or VA Nursing Homes) often have complex care needs. Dr. Anjana Muralidharan, investigator at the VISN 5 MIRECC, took part in a workgroup to consider the needs of these Veterans and the teams who care for them. She took the lead in compiling a toolkit of resources that CLC mental health professionals could use to support CLC teams in providing care to these residents. The materials build basic knowledge and address stigma regarding care of residents with SMI. The toolkit was developed for CLCs – but could be useful for any VHA staff who provide care to Veterans with SMI. Check them out!
Shared Decision-Making for Family Involvement in Treatment (SDM-FIT)
Involvement of family in a Veteran’s mental health treatment can improve family functioning and effectively mobilize the family’s social and emotional resources in support of the Veteran. The SDM-FIT protocol is a tool for VA mental health providers to facilitate collaborative discussion with Veterans regarding family involvement in treatment. Topics discussed include benefits of, concerns about, and preferences for family involvement. The protocol is designed to facilitate a 30-minute conversation between any mental health provider and Veteran receiving mental health treatment. Download Manual
Self-Stigma is the harm caused when people start to define themselves by the stereotypes they are exposed to. It interferes greatly with wellness, recovery and treatment. EASE is a 90 minute program for all staff in practical ways you can help people you serve reduce or avoid the effects of self-stigma. Learn more.
ESS was developed by a team from the VISN-5 MIRECC and the University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry to translate research on reducing the harmful effects of mental illness stigmatization into practical strategies that people can use. The above link will take you to further details and program materials. Learn more.