Early Psychosis Care
Dr. Myers has been working on early psychosis care since 2014 in the north Texas area. From 2014-2017, she engaged in interviews with 48 diverse young persons and their families about how they made decisions about treatment for early psychosis.
More recently, she has joined researchers at EPINET-TX as part of a larger National Institute of Mental Health-funded endeavor to create hubs for research around the country that accelerate advances in early psychosis care and recovery outcomes through learning health care partnerships.
Her current project involves interviewing individuals with early psychosis who report using substances to give those in the medical field a better understanding of what kind of support would have the most significant impact.
Dr. Myers is also working with the national network and to develop research that addresses racial and ethnic inequities in early psychosis care.
Race, Ethnicity, and Mental Health Equity
For the past several years, members of the research team have been interviewing mental health care providers in North Texas, including mental health professionals and pastors. The interviews focus on issues faced by minority communities who are experiencing mental health concerns, seeking out help for those concerns, and receiving quality mental health care.
Caregiving Networks For Young People in Crisis
This research, which began in 2013, has focused on various experiences of hearing distressing voices in Tanzania–the main symptom for psychosis–and ways to innovate better care for young people experiencing those symptoms. In 2013, Dr. Myer’s team visited various parts of Tanzania, interviewing women about their mental health and well-being experiences.
Two years later, the team interviewed people in Arusha and Maasailand who had experienced hearing distressing voices about their experiences and explanations of those voices. They also interviewed mental health professionals, pastors, and traditional healers on the best ways to address those experiences.
In 2018, Dr. Myers and her team followed up further with mental health professionals, pastors, and traditional healers about innovative ideas for care. This project has been funded by the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and Southern Methodist University. Three research assistants in Tanzania are also sharing their thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on their communities through regular journal entries and photos, which has been funded by the Sam Taylor Fellowship Grant Award.
American Wilderness Rites of Passage
Dr. Myers has begun preliminary research on wilderness rites of passage and their transformative potential for people facing life transitions. She has conducted fieldwork on this topic in Appalachia (2017), Death Valley (2020), and the Anza-Borrego Desert (2022). She has also designed a course to offer a Rites of Passage opportunity to students at SMU-in-Taos.
RECENTLY COMPLETED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Homeless Innovations and Jail Diversion
The lab served as one hub for a national research project identifying innovative approaches to chronic homelessness in major cities around the United States. We engaged in ethnographic research on an innovative program to divert people who were homeless and seriously mentally ill from jail for misdemeanors like trespassing. This project was conducted in partnership with The Harris Center and funded through the Public Mental Health Partnership at UCLA and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH).