Bellamy receives PCORI funds, patient advocacy award

Chyrell D. Bellamy, PhD, MSW, has been awarded funding by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to evaluate the effectiveness of the recently-established Wellness Center at the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC). Bellamy is an assistant professor of psychiatry and director of peer services and research at the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health.

In addition, Bellamy has received the Pearl Johnson Award from the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA). NARPA's mission is to empower individuals with psychiatric diagnoses to make their own treatment choices. The award recognizes Bellamy's advocacy exemplifying the spirit of Pearl Johnson, one of the nation’s leading psychiatric survivor activists and a passionate supporter for the rights of individuals of color.

The first phase of Bellamy's PCORI-funded project will evaluate the use of and outcomes generated by the different components of the Wellness Center, while a second phase will develop and pilot an augmentation strategy to improve the health of clients who have yet to derive any benefits from the Center.

Findings from this study will be used to inform policy makers and practitioners about the practices that work best for different subgroups of persons with serious mental illness on the health outcomes that matter to them most.

The CMHC Wellness Center is a primary care center for clients at Connecticut Mental Health Center. Supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Integrated Health Solutions, the Wellness Center was established in 2013 to better meet the health care needs of CMHC clients by integrating physical and mental health services in one location. The Wellness Center is run in collaboration with Cornell Scott Hill-Health Center, a federally qualified community health center in New Haven.

Dr. Bellamy received her PhD from the joint program in Social Work and Social Psychology at the University of Michigan and her MSW and BA degrees from Rutgers University. She has extensive experience in research interventions for people with mental illness, co-occurring disorders, substance abuse, and HIV, with a focus on the impact of sociocultural experiences in prevention and recovery. At the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health, Bellamy provides instruction on peer curricula development and training, training of peers to conduct research, and research and evaluation of peer support projects.

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This article was submitted by Shane Seger on January 9, 2014.