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Trauma Informed Resources

The City of San Diego’s Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention is concerned about the impact of violence on communities. Research underscores the serious impact community violence has on those victimized and on those exposed to violence. In addition to the physical and emotional impact, the effect of community violence interferes with healthy child development, school attendance, academic achievement, worker productivity, and family and social structures. A short briefing paper brings the issue to our door step – Impact of Community Violence (PDF)

The Commission’s Trauma Informed Practices Ad Hoc Committee prepared these links and resources for the community. Chair of the Commission Rosa Ana Lozada (Harmonium), Commissioner Dana Brown along with Commissioner Chief Jenkins representative Director Gonzalo Mendez crafted the focus and direction of this webpage. Thanks to student intern Nadeaja Shaeed (USD) for her help in drafting the work. Commissioner Brown presented at USD in the 2013. The PowerPoint created by Commissioner Brown called Trauma and Community Violence (PDF) will help inform other community trainings

National Leadership

Leading the way in informed and compassionate intervention in schools, the states of Washington and Massachusetts have devised district-wide approaches to help youth exposed to toxic stress and chronic trauma. Their goal is to combat the physical and emotional complications that arise from exposure with a communal coalition that correctly identifies at-risk youth and provides effective coping methods. The implementation of this model has shown to be so effective that the Massachusetts state legislature is considering Senate Bill 210, which calls for the statewide adoption of the program in schools to ensure “safe and supportive schools.” It is believed that in order for this program to succeed there must be participation, community efforts, longevity, and flexibility. Click here for details on Washington and Massachusetts effort.

San Francisco's Initiative

In the city of San Francisco, trauma is seen as a major public health issue. It is the desire of the UCSF Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools (HEARTS) program that school environments be made safer and more supportive for trauma victims. The model proposed is comprised of a multi-level prevention strategies that work cohesively with the SF Unified School District. HEARTS has highlighted direct/ indirect intervention and prevention methods, trainings, consultations, and support for educators, administrators, and victims. Such services are made accessible to both the school and district levels.

Trainings & Tools for Communities

Transforming School Climate through Trauma Informed PracticesThe U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services had a webinar series that targets the school-to-prison pipeline, in which school disciplinary policies and practices push youth out of school and into the justice system. Titled the Supportive School Discipline (SSD) series, the webinar promoted the “ increase awareness and understanding of the issues around school discipline and provides practical examples of policies and practices that maintain school and classroom safety while ensuring academic engagement and success for all students”. Here is the link to the webinar information.

One of the most important components of the series features is on page 40 of the pdf. Here is the complete presentation (PDF). The part that starts on page 40 of the series discusses trauma informed learning objectives from Dr. Joan Gillece, Project Director for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, and Ms. Barbara Trader, Executive Director of TASH.

A Behavior Intervention StrategyThe Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program is designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills. The program utilizes school-based, group, and individual intervention. Developed for use by mental health professionals to treat students from 5th to 12th grade, CBITS aims to alleviate the effects of trauma exposure by way of cognitive-behavioral techniques (e.g., psychoeducation, relaxation, social problem solving, cognitive restructuring, and exposure). The program is evidenced based (http://cbitsprogram.org/), can be implemented across the U.S. and Abroad, and adapted for Spanish-speaking communities.

Online trainings and reading lists

The Community and School Violence Reading List can be utilized as a tool to collect further knowledge on the topics of trauma, PTSD, abuse, and interventions for children. It is comprised of twenty-seven works and classic books by experts in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Some books and articles are protected by copyright law, but whenever possible, summaries are provided. Like many of the individual articles, this efforts of this list are “to assist adults-parents, teachers, and medical professionals-who interact with children who have been exposed to violence.(Groves BM and Zuckerman B., 1997)

Here is a link to an online course on Trauma offered by the Starr Global Learning Network . The course taught by instructor Barbara Oehlberg, MA. Students learn to integrate trauma sensitivity into teaching strategies and school policy. The course is dedicated to the sharing of information that permits schools to address the root causes of behavioral and learning dilemmas and the empowerment of educators to reach the improved achievement expectations required by state and federal departments of education. A former student writes “I will use this information in my daily practices and feel motivated to spread my wings at both the building and district levels in gaining support for becoming trauma informed.” There is a fee for the course.