Culturally Driven Research Partnerships to Promote Wellness and Recovery Outcomes
This year, the Emerging Addictions Conference focused on the state of the field, and the impact that the coronavirus and opioid pandemics, combined with systemic racism, are having on rates of substance use and treatment. Related to this focus, the conference featured a panel from the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies (CAS), Culturally Driven Research Partnerships to Promote Wellness and Recovery Outcomes, presented by Alexandria Bauer, PhD, Crystal Brandow, PhD, Vincent A. Digioia-Laird, and Margaret Swarbrick, PhD.
The panel presentation Culturally Driven Research Partnerships to Promote Wellness and Recovery Outcomes provided an opportunity for participants to learn about community participatory action research underway at CAS. The presenters highlighted how they are involving people with the lived experiences of mental health, substance use, and trauma related challenges in the development, design, and dissemination of research at CAS. It is important to bring people to the table who have been historically excluded, ensuring they are equal partners in collaborating to develop effective tools and programs that promote mental health, wellness, and substance use recovery outcomes. The CAS panel at the Emerging Addictions Conference highlighted some of the projects being done at the Center to fill the gaps and engage in participatory, representative research.
In this session, Dr. Swarbrick provided an overview of the CAS Wellness in Recovery (WinR) program and provided an overview of co-production and community-based participatory research principles that underlie the WinR program. Dr. Brandow, a WinR Scholar, discussed her pilot study, communicating with the audience about the application of co-production and community-based participatory research in efforts to create a culturally relevant wellness model for young Black adults. Dr. Bauer’s research also focuses on young Black adults, and her presentation outlined how she is applying community-based participatory action research principles exploring mental health support for young Black women. Dr. Swarbrick and Vincent Digioia-Laird shared how co-production principles informed the development of the Journey to Wellness Guide. Vincent shared the importance of focusing on self-care and creating accessible tools, and Dr. Swarbrick shared data from a pilot study exploring the feasibility and utility of this new self-help tool.