The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a $1.9 million research grant to Deborah Padgett and Victoria Stanhope – professors at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work – to support their five-year study of homeless adults with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse.
The qualitative study of men and women entering New York City residential services will seek to determine what approaches are most effective in extending the promise of mental health recovery to this severely disadvantaged population.
The project, to be called the “New York Recovery Study,” is a follow-up of Dr. Padgett’s New York Services Study (funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, 2004-2008) in its focus on in-depth interviews with psychiatric consumers and their case managers. In the new study, ethnographic observation has been added to explore the ways that consumers and their residential programs carry out daily activities. Both “housing first” and “standard care” approaches will be contrasted to discern the impact that each has on consumers’ lives, including their social relationships, mental status, use of drugs and alcohol, and need for services.
In the study’s final two years, Padgett and co-investigator Stanhope will develop recommendations for recovery-oriented practices and test them with focus groups at homeless service programs in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
The grant represents one of the largest awarded by NIMH for an all-qualitative study. “We are deeply gratified to receive Federal funding for research that positions the consumer as the expert,” said Dr. Padgett. Dr. Stanhope added, “This is an exciting opportunity to give a voice to people who have experienced long-term homelessness and to really understand what recovery means for them by getting to know them and their lives in-depth.”
About NYU Silver
The Silver School of Social Work at New York University is committed to building knowledge and educating professionals for leadership to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Established a half-century ago, the School has had a distinguished history of service, research, and scholarship addressing the most pressing problems of a complex urban environment, and the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. The School's priorities reflect the primary obligations of the social work profession—to advance the cause of social justice and promote the ideals of a humane society.