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SPARC new name for mental health services research unit

Renaming former Center for Mental Health Services Research acknowledges ‘evolutionary changes in the field of mental health’

UMass Medical School Communications

June 16, 2014

SPARC logoThe UMass Medical School Department of Psychiatry has announced that Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center, or SPARC, is the new name for what was previously called the Center for Mental Health Services Research.

“The motivations for this change are manifold,” said Carl Fulwiler, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and director of SPARC. “Foremost, it is an acknowledgement of evolutionary changes in the field of mental health services and the diversification of our body of work since our inception in 1993 as a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Research Center of Excellence.”

The name represents the center’s complete portfolio of cutting-edge, recovery-informed research, training and systemic interventions. The acronym also captures the “spark of innovation” that drives the center’s members to constantly further the mission to improve mental and behavioral health services for better lives and stronger communities.

UMMS community members are invited to join the SPARC mailing list to keep up-to-date on SPARC news and products. They can also subscribe to the center’s Psychiatry Information in Brief eJournal, which is devoted to translating research findings into concise, user-friendly information that is accessible to all. The eJournal includes the following sections:

  • Psychiatry Issue Briefs—concise research findings with real-world recommendations and action items for providers and consumers of mental health services;
  • Research in the Works—brief one page descriptions of on-going research from the UMMS Department of Psychiatry
  • Research You Can Use—digests for busy providers, research findings from literature reviews, white papers, and other sources; and
  • Transitions RTC—publications that are aimed at improving supports for youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions.