SPIRIT Center aims to empower communities, bring hope

Department news | March 28, 2024

Congratulations to the SPIRIT Lab on becoming our department’s newest Clinical and Research Center! The mission of the newly branded SPIRIT Center, co-directed by Sarah Kopelovich, PhD, and Maria Monroe-DeVita, PhD, is to illuminate a pathway to recovery for those who support individuals experiencing psychosis. Through pioneering research, innovative approaches to training, and working across the mental health system ecology, the SPIRIT Center envisions a world where every individual has access to evidence-based and culturally informed psychosis care. Lydia Chwastiak MD, MPH, and Akansha Vaswani-Bye, PhD, round out the Center’s principal faculty and Rachel Brian, MPH, Mackenzie Deiman, Brit Bele Exworthy, MEd, and Christina Clayton, LICSW, SUDP, serve as the Center’s four core leads.

The team’s research projects focus on understanding the prevalence and impact of psychosis, developing and testing effective treatments and innovative strategies to integrate technology and family supports into treatment, and bridging the gap between what is known to be effective in research and the care that is delivered in clinical settings. Their research topic areas include Assertive Community Treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis, early psychosis, and the epidemiology and impact of psychosis and factors that drive quality of care and outcomes.

In addition to research, the SPIRIT Center offers family and caregiver support programs, in-depth implementation projects and a vast array of training and technical assistance opportunities for trainees and providers.