Tonight we will briefly discuss the recently published anthology Motherhood, Mental Illness and Recovery with one of the book's contributors, Joanne Nicholson, PhD. As the author of the book's first chapter, Dr. Nicholson provides a framework for developing a familyrecovery model for mental health services.
We will review a number of key concepts and processes in the approach to supporting parents with mental illnesses and their families. These include the concepts of: (a) family-centered, (b) strengths-based, (c) family-driven and self-determined, (d) recovery- and resilience-focused, and (e) trauma-informed. Key processes include: (f) engagement and relationship building, (g) empowerment, (h) availability and accessibility, and (i) advocacy.
Dr. Nicholson is a clinical and research psychologist, and Professor of Psychiatry at the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center. She is also Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), where she directed the Child and Family Research Core of the UMMS Center for Mental Health Services Research. Dr. Nicholson has established an active program of research on parents with mental illnesses and their families, in partnership with people in recovery. Her team is developing education and skills training materials for parents, integrating the current knowledge on parents with mental illnesses, and evaluating interventions for families, including the pilot Family Options intervention. Dr. Nicholson’s research interests also include the study of collaborations, knowledge exchange, and the impact of web-based interventions. Dr. Nicholson has received funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Alliance for Mental Illness Research Institute, private foundations, and industry sources. In 2006, Dr. Nicholson received the Armin Loeb Award from the U.S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association for her significant career contribution to research in psychiatric rehabilitation. She has been a W.T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellow, and a NIDRR Switzer Distinguished Research Fellow. She is the 2010 recipient of the UMMS Women’s Faculty Committee Outstanding Community Service Award, and in 2011 received the Katharine F. Erskine Award in Medicine & Science for her professional achievements, commitment to the advancement of women and girls, and her contributions to the community.