Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) has been selected as one of seven Texas universities to receive a Mental Health Recovery-Oriented Research University grant. Awarded by The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the goal of the grant program is to support research that furthers knowledge of recovery-oriented practices.
“The evidence base for recovery-oriented supports, such as peer support and person-centered care, continues to grow, and the Hogg Foundation is happy to contribute to that effort,” said Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., M.D., executive director of the Hogg Foundation and associate vice president for diversity and community engagement at UT Austin.
Recovery-oriented research uses feedback from recovering mental health patients and involves them in every phase of research. The patients become co-investigators, and not just research subjects.
“It’s a new model for psychiatric care that has been developed at the national level and in several states. Currently, it’s being implemented in Texas,” says principal investigator and director of TTUSHC El Paso’s Center of Emphasis in Neurosciences Michael Escamilla, M.D. “This will be a new model to be used in the future for the treatment of psychiatric conditions.”
The $22,000 grant will help TTUHSC El Paso researchers identify differences between patient and psychiatrist perspectives, and identify measures of recovery that are culturally appropriate for Texas communities. The recovery-oriented research grant is tied to a previous Hogg Foundation grant awarded to assistant director of TTUHSC El Paso’s Center of Emphasis in Neurosciences Juan Zavala, M.D., and Dr. Escamilla. This grant, the Texas Recovery to Practice (RTP) grant, is helping to fund a state-wide project to educate Texas psychiatrists in the recovery model of mental health.
Now, according to Dr. Escamilla, data collected from the RTP project can be analyzed for unique populations.
“The Hogg Foundation specializes in working with minority populations,” Dr. Escamilla said. “We’re just starting this research, but this has been critical to us since we’re right on the border and have a high Hispanic population. This new grant will allow us to adapt measures of recovery to our communities and to analyze how divergent current models of psychiatric care are between our psychiatrists and the population they serve. It will also test an intervention aimed at educating psychiatrists about their patients’ recovery goals.