Postsecondary Students With Psychiatric Disabilities Identify Core Services and Key Ingredients to Supporting Education Goals

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Abstract

Objective: Accessing and successfully completing postsecondary educational opportunities may be challenging for those living with psychiatric disabilities. This exploratory study highlights the experiences of individuals with psychiatric disabilities participating in postsecondary educational support initiatives. Method: Investigators conducted case studies with 3 education support initiatives across the United States. Focus groups revealed what concrete supported education services were helpful and key ingredients in delivering education supports. Results: Access to specialists, mindfulness techniques, help with time management and procrastination, and facilitating classroom accommodations were identified as critical. Developing authentic relationships with supported education staff, flexibility in service delivery and access to student peers living with psychiatric disabilities were noted as key ingredients in service delivery. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Incorporating the voice of students with psychiatric disabilities into supported education services can increase access, involvement, and retention, therein providing more supports to students with psychiatric disabilities achieving their postsecondary education goals.

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