Michelle P. Salyers, Ph.D.

  • 1998 Ph.D., Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology - Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
  • 1996 M.S., Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology - IUPUI
  • 1989 B.S., Psychology - Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Michelle is a Professor at the Department of Psychology at IUPUI. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology at IUPUI in 1998.  She completed her clinical internship at Dartmouth Medical School and was a NASMHPD Research Institute post-doctoral fellow at the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center. 

She is a mental health services researcher in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation, primarily focusing on implementing evidence-based practices.  She has several federally-funded research and implementation projects focusing on Assertive Community Treatment and Illness Management and Recovery.

My broad area of research interest is psychiatric rehabilitation, focusing on adults with severe mental illnesses. I believe mental health services should be based on the best available evidence and address the skills and supports consumers of those services need in order to manage illnesses more independently and achieve recovery goals. My work addresses the level of consumers, staff, and mental health programs. At the consumer level, living successfully with chronic health conditions requires that consumers become active collaborators in illness management. I have been developing a program of research to address this area using the Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) program. IMR is a curriculum-based approach to helping consumers set and achieve personal recovery goals and acquire the knowledge and skills to independently manage their illnesses. IMR brings together five empirically supported interventions: psychoeducation, cognitive-behavioral approaches to medication adherence, relapse prevention, social skills training, and coping skills training. We have completed several studies of this intervention including a randomized controlled trial of IMR for people with schizophrenia funded by the VA. Mental health providers work under a great deal of pressure, often without much support or financial incentives. Turnover rates are high, and burnout can be a large problem. My dissertation was focused on understanding staff burnout, and recently I have returned to this topic. Working with colleagues across the country, we developed a staff burnout intervention and have begun testing the program (called BREATHE). Our pilot work showed promising results, and we are expanding this research into more rigorous testing of the intervention over longer periods of time. We currently have federal funding by the VA and PCORI for randomized trials of the BREATHE intervention. We were recently funded to adapt BREATHE for cancer care providers. I have also been conducting work on staff beliefs and attitudes about recovery because this can be a critical part of helping consumers in their own recovery. At the program level, I am interested in how to help mental health service providers deliver services that are based on the best research evidence. Much of my work in this area has been with Assertive Community Treatment. At the program level, we provide training and consultation, we measure program implementation (fidelity) and consumer outcomes, and we work with policy makers to help establishing funding that will encourage evidence-based practice.