Mathematica Policy Research behavioral health and disability expert Crystal Blyler guest edited a special issue of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, which includes a number of articles coauthored by Mathematica disability and mental health experts. The issue is devoted to the application of disability policy research to the mental health field and aims to help start a conversation about policies affecting and affected by mental illness. In particular, the journal focuses on the application of rigorous evidence to inform policies and programs. Blyler presented on these topics at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and Foundation’s recent Annual Wellness and Recovery Summit.
Mathematica experts contributed research and analysis on topics relevant to disability policy as it pertains to mental health, including employment, education, and disability policy; Medicaid policy; and health reform.
- Along with the journal’s introductory editorial, Blyler joined Bonnie O'Day, Rebecca Kleinman, Benjamin Fischer, and Eric Morris in conducting a literature review on employment supports for people with mental illness, specifically seeking evidence for the effectiveness of preventive interventions for populations at risk for unemployment and long-term disability and likely to apply for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance in the future.
- Using an analysis from the National Beneficiary Survey, Gina Livermore coauthored a study examining employment outcomes for beneficiaries with psychiatric disabilities compared with beneficiaries with other health conditions.
- Purvi Sevak coauthored an article comparing barriers to and facilitators of employment for people with psychiatric versus physical disabilities who apply for services from state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies.
- Todd Honeycutt and Priyanka Anand coauthored an analysis of administrative data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitative Services Administration, which oversees state VR agencies, to better understand the VR services that transition-age youth with psychiatric disabilities receive and their relationship to employment outcomes.
- In the arena of Medicaid policy and health reform, Jung Kim and Tricia Collins Higgins conducted an analysis of a pilot project in Pennsylvania that sought to integrate care for people with co-occurring serious mental illness and chronic physical health conditions through partnerships among county behavioral health offices and physical and behavioral health managed care plans.
- Research by Rebecca Kleinman, Matthew Kehn, Allison Siegwarth, and Jonathan Brown examines the strategies four states have used to coordinate Medicaid and housing services.
“Mathematica’s contributions to this special issue illustrate our commitment to building the evidence base for policies and programs intersecting mental health and disability in order to help tackle the many challenges faced by the mental health system,” said Blyler.