Chyrell Bellamy, PhD, MSW, associate professor of psychiatry, has been appointed director of the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH).
Bellamy’s appointment took effect March 7, 2022. She replaces Larry Davidson, PhD, professor of psychiatry, who retires as director after leading PRCH for 22 years. His work has been influential nationally and internationally in shaping the recovery agenda and operationalizing its implications for transforming behavioral health practice. Davidson will devote his time to advancing his scholarship and to mentorship of academic and community scholars around the world.
PRCH aims to be multicultural and antiracist and consists of a multi-disciplinary team of people with lived experience, practitioners, researchers, educators, and advocates whose mission is to promote civil rights, recovery and the restoration of citizenship and belonging among individuals living with mental and physical health illnesses.
Bellamy has been at Yale and with PRCH since 2006. She has an international reputation as a thought and practice leader and researcher in the areas of peer support and peer-run programs, leadership development, health disparities, community-based participatory research (CBPR), and co-production.
Her research is focused on sociocultural pathways of recovery and healing from mental distress, trauma, mental illness, substance use, HIV, and other health or life challenges. Bellamy’s work is centered on community driven approaches with Black/African Americans and Latinos/x, LGBTQI+, and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and discriminated against.
Bellamy has been awarded local, state, and federal (NIH, PCORI) research grants to support her work on Peer Wellness for people living with mental and physical health conditions and to develop and study peer and community-based participatory research approaches.
Bellamy is involved in various community-based initiatives. She is co-founder and director of the Yale Lived Experience Transformational Leadership Academy (LET(s)Lead). She is principal investigator with Ayana Jordan, MD, PhD, of NYU Psychiatry and formerly of Yale on a NIH Common Fund U01 award to study culturally responsive community delivered SUD interventions for Black and Latinx people, based on their development of the Imani Breakthrough: A Faith-based Response to the Opioid Crisis for Black and Latinx communities.
She directs the Harambee Project, a peer led intervention to enhance wellness for people with mental illness diagnoses who also live with physical health challenges. Bellamy also co-directs the Sawubona Healing Circles with Angela Haeny, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry. Sawubona, developed by the Association of Black Psychologist (ABPsi), utilizes an Africentric model to provide a healing space for Black health care and essential workers.
Bellamy also serves as acting director of the Office of Recovery Community Affairs for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.