How can we help improve volunteer recruitment and retention?
We will work with you to help you connect and develop working relationships with your local advocacy organizations. Many individuals living with mental illnesses seek help from their local advocacy organizations, whether it is through education programs, caregiver support, or peer support groups. Because this is often an individual’s point of contact, the advocacy organizations need to have a working knowledge of different treatment and care options for their clients. Once they are familiar with your site and you start building a trusting relationship, they will be more open to working with you.
The STARR will help you become part of the local mental health care ecosystem. Individuals living with mental illness, along with their families and caregivers, may utilize any number of medical facilities including hospital emergency rooms, quick-care or urgent-care offices, as well as providers of services for any number of co-morbid conditions. The more familiar those providers are with your sites’ resources and expertise, the more likely they will be to include you as a care option for their patients.
As a member of the STARR Community, you will have access to tools, tips, and lessons learned by other members. What are the most effective recruitment methods for MDD, Bipolar, or Schizophrenia studies? What are some simple tips for making volunteers feel more comfortable at your site? What services can you provide that will facilitate their participation in the study (ex: transportation assistance, contacting employers, etc.)?
Participation in the STARR Research Ambassador Program helps volunteers identify as study partners and are less likely to leave the study. We offer a unique opportunity for sites and sponsors alike to hear directly from individuals who have experience in research trials. Your staff can ask direct questions and learn how to provide the best care through this experience. It will create trust with the individuals that they will share throughout their community.
As a member of the STARR Community, you will have access to tools, tips, and guidance docs. The STARR Coalition has developed guidance and best practices documents for volunteer transition activities, mental health advocacy and nonprofit resources beyond what is provided by the site, and post-trial surveys, among other practical tools available to members of the STARR community.