Chyrell D. Bellamy, PhD, MSW is Professor of Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry, Director of the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH), Director of Peer Support Services & Research and Director of the Yale Lived Experience Transformational Leadership Academy (LET(s)Lead). In addition, Dr. Bellamy is a Senior Policy Adviser for the Office of the Commissioner for the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). Dr. Bellamy’s expertise is in 1) community based participatory research and co-design with communities of color and with communities of people living with psychiatric illness, substance use and addictions, HIV, homelessness, and incarceration histories; 2) research expertise on healthcare disparities: sociocultural pathways of recovery from illness and other transformative experiences; 3) development of culturally responsive interventions; 4) qualitative research methods; and 5) development and training on community and clinic based psychosocial and wellness interventions.
In her capacity as Director of Peer Services and Research she provides instruction on peer curricula development and training based on her research and practice experience with peer employees since 1993 (beginning with women living with HIV); training of peers to conduct research; research and evaluation on the effectiveness of peer support; and leadership training for people with lived experiences, via the LET(s)LEAD: Lived Experience Transformation Leadership Academy.
Dr. Bellamy brings personal and professional expertise as a frontline service provider, clinician, social worker, community educator and organizer, trainer, program evaluator, community and academic researcher in the health and behavioral health fields, and openly identifies as a person with lived experience of multiple marginalized identities including mental illness, trauma, and addictions, and these experiences inform her research and community practice.
Dr. Bellamy’s research is multifaceted, community and lived experience centered. Here are a few examples:
-PI PCORI awarded to examine health care choice and health outcomes for people with mental illness and whether a co-located primary health care facility is effective in providing care, coordinating care, and increasing health indicators for people with mental illness. An intervention was developed/piloted based on the 8 dimensions of wellness for people diagnosed with serious mental illness and other multiple health conditions and named Harambee (Swahili for Let’s come together).
-PI NIMH R34 awarded to study the target mechanisms of a whole health intervention for people with mental and physical illnesses. This intervention was primarily peer support based and delivered. The state of Connecticut has recently funded Harambee to pilot in 3 sites throughout the state, Middletown, Bridgeport, and New Haven.
-PI CT DMHAS/SAMHSA State Opioid Recovery funds to develop and provide a faith-based opioid recovery program, named Imani Breakthrough (Imani is Swahili for Faith). CBPR process involved working with community to develop a culturally attuned faith-based opioid recovery intervention which combines the 8 dimensions of wellness and the 5Rs of Citizenship (roles, relationships, responsibilities, resources, and rights; and belonging). It takes place in 4 Latinx churches and 4 Black churches in CT.
-Imani Breakthrough is now being implemented in Rhode Island with Black and Latinx communities. Soon headed to New Orleans.
-PI NIH Common Fund/NIDA 1U01OD033241-01. Dr Jordan and I are mPIs on a NIH Common Fund U01: Culturally responsive community-driven substance use recovery for Black and Latinx populations. The main goal of this current study is to increase the methodological rigor of Imani by conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to examine whether adding a Church-based Telehealth MAT option to Imani (Imani + CTM) will improve outcomes for Black and Latinx people with AUD or OUD compared to Imani + traditional MAT Referral and Linkage (Imani + MAT R&L) in the community.
-PI NIH R34 1 R34 MH131238-01. Adaptation and Implementation of Peer Support to Optimize Engagement and Outcomes for People with Serious Mental Illness in Campinas, Brazil with mPIs with Maria O'Connell and Rosana Onocko Campos.
-PI NIH NIMHD 1R01MDO18255-01. Recovery Finance: Financial health and mental health after incarceration. mPIs Harper & Bellamy. This is a multilevel study which explores effective ways to address financial structural barriers for particularly for Black and Latinx individuals with histories of incarceration and mental health challenges.