Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)

The National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is funded by the National Institute for Mental Health in the U.S. since 2001. It is a collection of investigators and advocates from more than 25 institutions dedicated to examining best practices for replacing stigma with affirming attitudes such as recovery and empowerment. One program within NCSE is the Center on Adherence and Self-Determination (CASD) also funded by NIMH. NCSE and CASD have produced more than 400 peer-reviewed papers during its history.  Coming Out Proud to Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness (COP) was developed by NCSE investigators and advocates. It is a three-session program meant to address stigma through strategic disclosure and has been evaluated in to randomized controlled trials. COP is being adapted as best practices in governments in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the E.U.

The Illinois Institute of Technology has seven colleges including a Department of Psychology with divisions in clinical, rehabilitation, and I/O psychology. The Rehab Division is home to the National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment.


Patrick Corrigan is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  Prior to that, he was Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago where he directed its Center on Psychiatric Rehabilitation.  His research examines psychiatric disability and the impact of stigma on recovery and rehabilitation.   Currently, he is principal investigator of the National Consortium for Stigma and Empowerment (NCSE); NCSE is a collaboration of investigators and advocates from more than a dozen institutions.  He is principal investigator of several projects examining integrated care primary and behavioral health care in a health disparities framework and funded by the U.S. government.  He has written more than 350 peer-reviewed articles, is editor emeritus of the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and editor of a new journal published by the American Psychological Association, Stigma and Health. Corrigan has authored or edited fifteen books, most recently, The Stigma of Disease and Disability.


Jonathon E. Larson, Ed.D., M.S., L.C.P.C., C.R.C. is an associate professor of psychology in the Division of Counseling and Rehabilitation Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. He was awarded and currently directs research activities as Co-PI for a transformation grant on Trauma Informed Care for Veterans and Family Members funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He is a funded co-investigator within the Center on Adherence and Self-Determination funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a Co-I: Illinois Institute of Technology Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Center. Peer Navigators for Latinos with Mental Illness. Agency for Health Research and Quality. He is PI: Testing Effectiveness of NeuroField: A Pulsed Electromagnetic Field System for Electroencephalogram Regulation for Neurofield, Inc. He has 56 peer reviewed publications, 7 book chapters, and 15 published training chapters.

Kyra Wilson, MSW is the Assistant Director of Honest, Open, Proud at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chicago. She has her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been working with Honest, Open, Proud full time since June 2015 in administration work and coordination as well as implementing and disseminating the program in the community.

Lindsay Sheehan.Lindsay Sheehan, PhD, is Senior Research Associate at the Illinois Institute of Technology and PI on a PCORI-funded project to develop patient leadership in community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects for African Americans with mental illness.  Dr. Sheehan has also used the CBPR approach to study the stigma of suicide and has contributed to several funded CBPR projects on peer navigator programs for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.

Sonya Ballentyne.Sonya Ballentyne, is the patient co-investigator on a Eugene Washington PCORI award on community-based participatory research (CBPR) for training and development to engage African-American patients with serious mental illness as research leaders.  Ms. Ballentine also manages a federally funded project to test a weight loss intervention for African Americans with mental illness. Her CBPR experience began in 2012 with her work on an NIMHD-funded peer navigator project.  The patient research team, of which Ms. Ballentine was a member, designed a peer navigator training manual for homeless African-Americans with serious mental illness in Chicago’s Edgewater-Uptown neighborhood.  Ms.  Ballentine graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and worked for several years in the business sector before being hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2007.  As her mental health has stabilized, she is proud to once again be a productive member of society.