The 2021 National Research Consortium in IDD-MH third Annual Conference occurred on October 14, 2021. The consortium is a first-of-its-kind initiative that seeks to improve the mental health and wellbeing of individuals with IDD, their families and communities. The National Research Consortium on MHIDD is comprised of people with lived experiences (including self-advocates and family members), caregivers, trainees, researchers, policy experts, and clinicians from over 30 organizations across the US including several UCEDDs, medical schools, state health departments, and service providers.

The conference was attended by over 50 research partners across the US who gathered to set priorities for next year. Our keynote presentation, the Transforming Research Forum, provided valuable lessons learned to consortium members through an almost two-year collaborative project to build capacity for research engagement with individuals with the lived experience of IDD-MH, their families, and professionals. The presentation, which is a part of a PCORI-funded project entitled Reconciling the Past and Changing the Future: Engaging Young Adults with IDD-MH and Researchers in Comparative Effectiveness Research, built the capacity of NRC affiliated researchers and partners to engage in research projects that partner stakeholders to reduce research harms and generate research relevant and important to individuals with IDD-MH and their families. In addition to the keynote presentation, all NRC Innovation Award recipients presented an update on their respective projects.