Established in 2009, the MGH Division of Public and Community Psychiatry is the home for clinicians, educators, researchers, trainees and advocates whose primary focus is public sector and community psychiatric populations, disorders and programs, and who embrace the social mission of medicine. We are particularly interested in those suffering from severe and persistent mental illness, addictions, trauma and homelessness, and recognize the contribution of the social determinants of mental health on healthcare access, treatment and outcomes. We are deeply invested in residency training, hoping to inspire the next generation of psychiatrists to develop careers whose clinical care, teaching or research is shaped by a commitment to social justice.
The Division has approached its work through establishing structures and processes and, to the extent possible, aligning and embedding its activities in the core pillars of the MGH. The Division works to strengthen existing collaborations with Partners/MGH and relevant federal, state and local programs and agencies involved in the provision and funding of mental health services in the community. We are particularly committed to underserved and marginalized populations. The Division is led by Dr Derri Shtasel, the inaugural incumbent of the Michele and Howard J Kessler Chair in Public and Community Psychiatry.
The MGH Division of Public and Community Psychiatry harnesses the depth and breadth of resources at MGH and in the community to provide excellence in clinical care, teaching research and system improvements for underserved and vulnerable populations with serious mental illness. We work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) and a range of community mental health and medical providers. We seek to understand the complex interplay between serious mental illness and the social determinants of health, and recognize racism as a unique social determinant of mental health. We focus on those suffering from severe and persistent mental illness, addictions, trauma and homelessness. Our efforts extend beyond community mental health centers, the historic locus of care for the seriously mentally ill, to community health centers embracing integrated approaches to primary and mental health care, to addiction treatment services and to the correctional system. We emphasize recovery-oriented approaches to care including non-hierarchical relationships, shared decision-making and strength-based care, values which are embedded in our clinical rotations and didactic lecture series.
The PGY2 Year: Emphasizing Recovery Models of Care
The PGY2 Community Psychiatry Rotation is a 6-week, immersive, public-sector outpatient experience that introduces residents to recovery-oriented, integrated healthcare for people with serious mental illness. This rotation is sited in a transitional homeless shelter run by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Residents follow patients through multiple systems of care, including a community mental health center, an addictions treatment program, and an organization that provides healthcare for homeless individuals. Residents work in an interdisciplinary care team to provide care and resources to the most vulnerable of patients.