Sidran Institute and Toolwire Launch Immersive Learning Simulations for Trauma-Informed Care

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Online experiential learning tool will increase access, reduce cost and enhance learning experience for mental health and social service professionals implementing trauma-informed care.

Through this exciting alliance, Risking Connection® is accessible to even more people across more disciplines.

Toolwire ( and the Sidran Institute ( today announced the launch of the Risking Connection® LearnScapes, a series of interactive online learning simulations created to help improve the way mental health and social services professionals work with trauma survivors in order to reduce the time and costs of healing.

These simulations will be based upon the Risking Connection® (RC) program, the flagship curriculum developed by the Sidran Institute, an organization specializing in collaborative, multidisciplinary education and resources to support those who have experienced trauma. Risking Connection® is the first trauma-informed model developed with direct input from trauma survivors and now, the most affordable.

Trauma and related outcomes such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have been linked to lower use of preventive healthcare and poor physical health including chronic conditions. The direct and indirect costs of trauma-generated mental illness alone exceed $315 billion according to one NIMH report. Of all persons receiving treatment for substance abuse, 90% report histories of trauma.

“Risking Connection® is an evidence-informed, best-practice operating model that works in more settings than any other approach available today,” said Esther Giller, CEO of the Sidran Institute. “As research continues, the evidence mounts for its’ effectiveness. Through this exciting alliance, Risking Connection® is accessible to even more people across more disciplines; we are very pleased that the Risking Connection LearnScape takes our curriculum into a variety of settings where it can make such a difference.”

The recently launched LearnScape episodes immerse learners in photo-realistic settings where they meet and interact with the fictional Bolton family. These episodes introduce the Risking Connection® operating model and challenge students to apply the model to the Boltons’ situation and to cases from the parent text, Risking Connection: Working with Survivors of Child Abuse. Along the way, “Natural Assessments” track performance and subtly provide remediation and guidance to reinforce learning.

“Students who come already prepared with a working knowledge of the basic principles of RC from the online course can jump right into an instructor led session at a more advanced level," commented Elizabeth Power, CEO of EPower & Associates. EPower & Associates of Tennessee and the Klingberg Family Centers of Connecticut are Sidran-authorized providers for the instructor led training. Power also works with Sidran on overall model development with a focus on increasing access, quality of learning, and affordability.

“This is another great example of how Toolwire LearnScapes, when coupled with a proven instructional curriculum, are bringing learning to life in new and exciting ways,” commented Cameron D. Crowe, Executive Vice-President, Toolwire. “Toolwire’s expertise in experiential learning and Sidran’s proven Risking Connection program for trauma-informed care will positively impact those whose lives have been scarred by serious trauma.”


About Sidran

Sidran Institute, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of international scope that helps people understand, recover from, and treat traumatic stress (including PTSD), dissociative disorders, and co-occurring issues such as addictions, self-injury, and suicide. Sidran develops and delivers educational programming, resources for treatment, support, and self-help, trauma-informed community and professional collaboration projects and publications about trauma and recovery. Sidran’s constituency is made up of any individuals or organizations touched by the effects of trauma, including:

  •     adults, adolescents, and children who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events
  •     supportive friends and family members
  •     mental health, crisis, victims services, and child-serving professionals
  •     foster families, public safety, and disaster services personnel
  •     support networks, schools and educators, faith communities, and more

About Toolwire

Toolwire is a learning and technology solutions provider specializing in products and services for Experiential Learning. Empowering Higher Education and corporate training institutions to deliver immersive "virtual internships" across a broad range of subject areas including Business, Health Care, Social Work, Law, Information Technology, and more, Toolwire’s experiential learning solutions provide the quickest, most effective way to develop skills, improve knowledge retention, and enhance student success.

Toolwire recently received the Gold Medal for “External Learning Project of the Year” at The Learning Awards sponsored by the Learning and Performance Institute, a global institute for learning and development professionals. Toolwire collaborated with Leeds Metropolitan University to develop a Social Work LearnScape that replicates real-life child protection scenarios and enables social workers to apply their observation and communication skills.

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Peyton Williams
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