AUSTIN, Texas – The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is pleased to announce that seven universities have each received the Mental Health Recovery-Oriented Research University grant. The goal of this grant program is to support research that furthers knowledge of recovery-oriented practices. One condition of the grant is that recipients will include mental health consumers as co-investigators in their research projects, and not just as study subjects.

“Recovery-oriented” is defined as research that uses methodologies and tools that have been informed by the perspectives of persons in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders. Crucially, it views mental health consumers as equal partners in the research/evaluation enterprise, and involves them in every phase of the research and/or evaluation process.

“The evidence base for recovery-oriented supports such as peer support and person-centered care continues to grow, and the Hogg Foundation is happy to contribute to that effort,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation and associate vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. “We’re also learning that the best of these approaches give us another way to reach traditionally underserved populations such as minorities and youth.”

The grants are for up to $22,000 each for one year. The seven awardees are:

  • Texas A&M University – To conduct a training and research project that will train three local fire departments in peer support skills for firefighters and also collect follow-up assessments of trainee skills acquisition and satisfaction. The goal is to ensure that firefighters, an understudied group, have access to the latest in peer training and to add to the knowledge base on the efficacy of ongoing peer-based supervision for peer specialists.
  • Texas A&M University-Central Texas – To conduct a mixed-methods study that will explore Black women’s experience of, perception of, and recovery from depression. The goal is to provide evidence for mental health interventions that make effective use of the unique strengths and cultural values of Black communities.
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso – To identify areas of difference and overlap between consumer and psychiatrist perspectives on and assessments of recovery, and to develop an intervention to provide an opportunity for consumers and psychiatrists to inform each other of their views of appropriate measures of recovery from mental illness.
  • The University of Texas at El Paso – To conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to examine the impact of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Peer-to-Peer program on recovery-oriented outcomes among individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) in a US-Mexico border region.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston – To implement a phase of the Recovery Oriented Research Methods for Youth in an Alternative Peer Group project, a long-term effort to add to the evidence base for mental health and substance use recovery by testing the effectiveness of Alternative Peer Groups and other recovery support models for youth.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio – To discover the feasibility of establishing a recovery-oriented crisis service in Bexar County, TX based on interviews with individuals who have experienced psychiatric crises. The study proceeds from consumers’ reported experiences with mainstream crisis services, whose practices, which include the use of coercive treatment, are often found to be at-odds with recovery-oriented principles.
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – To conduct research to provide evidence for recovery-oriented therapy, and in particular for the efficacy of peer-led interventions, for Mexican American youth with mental health and substance use issues in the Rio Grande Valley. This particular population is highly at-risk and underserved in the area of mental health services.

The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research, and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.