Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 223–231 | Cite as

Community Mental Health Agency Views of Research

  • Jodi M. Gonzalez
  • Dharma E. Cortés
  • Tamara Reeves
  • Rob Whitley
  • Linda Lopez
  • Gary R. Bond
  • Dawn I. Velligan
  • Alexander L. Miller
Original Paper


We examined community mental health center staff perceptions of ongoing research within their agency. We interviewed upper management and conducted focus groups with medical staff, non-medical clinicians, and administrative staff. Participants were asked about (1) their attitudes towards research in general, agency research and towards the principal academic institution doing research with clients, (2) their perceptions of the value of research and (3) ideas for improving the collaboration. We identified 5 overarching themes: inter-agency communication, shared goals and equality in research, researchers adding knowledge to the agency, improving attitudes toward research, and agency involvement in research. Under these domains, specific suggestions are made for how to improve the collaboration across all stakeholder groups. Lack of shared values and inadequate communication processes can negatively impact community-based research collaborations. However, clear strategies, and adequate resources have great potential to improve community mental health collaborations.


Academic–community partnerships Health services research Mental health services Qualitative research 



This research was supported by NIMH grant #R24MH072830.

Conflict of interest

None for any author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jodi M. Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Dharma E. Cortés
    • 2
  • Tamara Reeves
    • 3
  • Rob Whitley
    • 4
    • 5
  • Linda Lopez
    • 6
  • Gary R. Bond
    • 7
  • Dawn I. Velligan
    • 1
  • Alexander L. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Cambridge Health AllianceHarvard Medical SchoolCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.University of Central OklahomaEdmondUSA
  4. 4.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Dartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  6. 6.Center for Health Care ServicesSan AntonioUSA
  7. 7.Dartmouth Medical SchoolHanoverUSA

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