VISN 5 MIRECC - Education
The Education Core is the arm of the VISN 5 MIRECC for all activities that involve education and dissemination of research findings. The Core is led by Co-Associate Directors Melanie Bennett, Ph.D. and Samantha Hack, Ph.D. and Coordinator Ralf Schneider, MA CPRP. We are committed to providing educational opportunities for students, advanced trainees, and professionals to contribute to the development of a cadre of researchers and clinicians who are dedicated to the study and treatment of Veterans with SMI. In collaboration with the Research and Clinical Cores, the Education Core plans and conducts events including presentations, webinars, workshops, and conferences that promote the translation of research and clinical findings to improve knowledge about mental health recovery for Veterans with serious mental illness. The Core also develops and disseminates resources for Veterans, their family members, clinicians, and community providers on topics related to related to serious mental illness and mental health recovery.
Education Core Initiatives
The mission of the VA Maryland Healthcare System Capitol Health Care Network (VISN 5) Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) is to support recovery and enhance community functioning of Veterans with serious mental illness. We are committed to providing outstanding educational opportunities for students, advanced trainees, and professionals to contribute to the development of a cadre of researchers and clinicians who are dedicated to the study and treatment of Veterans with serious mental illness within the range of treatment settings that serve them. To support this mission, the Education Core hosts a range of educational programs that are open to researchers, clinicians, Veterans, family members, and staff.
See below for examples of what we do – then contact us to get involved!
1) Formal Educational Experiences: The VISN 5 MIRECC provides clinical training and research mentorship to trainees who work within multidisciplinary teams in diverse service settings.
Example: Our Center houses two fellowship programs dedicated to training researchers, clinicians, and administrators for SMI-focused careers. We are one of 25 sites in the national VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment; the focus of our fellowship is training fellows to become leading clinical researchers in the area of SMI. In addition, our MIRECC serves as the administrative Hub Site for the VA Interprofessional Fellowship Program in Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Oriented Services, which provides advanced training in psychosocial rehabilitation for graduates from several mental health professions to produce clinical leaders, focused on recovery and systems change.
2) Didactic Offerings: Our Center offers regular conferences, workshops, and consultations to educate clinicians, Peer Specialists, veterans with serious mental illness, family members, and community service providers on topics related to working with individuals with SMI.
Example: We host the national Peer Specialist Education Webinar Series aimed at providing continuing education for VA Peer Specialists and supporting their work with Veterans.
Example: We have partnered with the Inpatient Mental Health and Outpatient Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Services at VACO – Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and Employee Education Services to offer the VA National Mental Health Recovery & Wellness Webinar Series. If you are interested in participating in this series, please subscribe here.
Example: We can provide training on Virtual Voices, a simulated experience of hearing distressing voices, which was developed by Patricia E. Deegan of The National Empowerment Center. The workshop is focused on helping "non-voice" hearing persons understand the challenges faced by people by psychiatric illnesses.
3) Faculty Mentoring in Research in Serious Mental Illness: Need help designing a research project? Want to gain experience in research in serious mental illness? MIRECC investigators conduct research on the development of psychosocial interventions for Veterans with SMI aimed at improving health, functioning, community engagement, and recovery. We regularly assist trainees and others interested in learning about research.
Example:Psychology externs and interns are mentored by MIRECC investigators on research projects exploring smoking cessation, weight loss, chronic medical illness self-management, self-stigma, detection and treatment of hepatitis C, medication use, sleep disorders, and negative symptoms.. These routinely yield products such as poster presentations and manuscript co-authorship.