, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 406-417

Supported education for persons with psychiatric disabilities: Implementation in an urban setting

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The onset of mental illness may drastically interrupt individual lives, often occurring during young adulthood when people are pursuing academic or vocational goals. Many individuals with psychiatric disabilities would like to resume these pursuits but need support to be successful. Responding to this need, the Michigan Supported Education Research Project (MSERP) was developed as a three-year federally funded collaborative effort providing support, assistance, and information to individuals with serious mental illness who wish to pursue college or vocational education. This article describes implementation of the project in metropolitan Detroit, the issues encountered, and solutions developed along the way. Significant factors in implementation include an urban-based location on a college campus, the collaboration between the public mental health system and academic institutions, and the many challenges presented by the students and the educational and mental health systems in place to serve them.