Capital City’s Service Providers Gather for Kick-Off of Training Program Hosted by Trenton Health Team; Focus is Trauma-Informed Care

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Two-day course addresses the lifelong negative impacts of trauma on the lives of individual Trenton residents and the broader community.

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“This training is part of a vital project ... to support community members who have been hurt and are in need of healing,” said Trenton Health Team Deputy Director Gregory Paulson.

More than 25 public and private organizations serving the people of Trenton, including the city’s two hospitals, its schools, emergency responders, police chaplains, and numerous social service and behavioral providers such as Anchor House, Mercer Street Friends, Millhill Child and Family Development Center and Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, are today completing a two-day course in addressing the lifelong negative impacts of trauma on the lives of Trenton residents and on the community as a whole.

Organization representatives gathered for all-day sessions at the College of New Jersey yesterday and at Trinity Cathedral today to learn more about the science, symptoms and strategies for addressing trauma's impacts in the training session hosted by the Trenton Health Team and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Trauma from exposure to random violence, rape, substance abuse in the home or fear for safety because of street violence and gang activities has taken a terrible toll on Trenton residents,” said James Brownlee, president of THT and director of Health and Human Services for the City of Trenton. All groups gathered to tackle these underlying issues that affect so many aspects of life in the community.

The recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) found that trauma is a critical issue impacting the health of Trenton residents. THT conducted the community assessment in 2013 in collaboration with medical, governmental, behavioral, social service, educational and faith-based organizations and agencies that serve the city of Trenton. The CHNA, which used quantitative and qualitative data to identify a set of five health priorities, found the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to be a major underlying factor for many of the community’s poor health outcomes, both psycho-social and physical.

“This training is part of a vital, two-year project designed to build awareness and skill for front line staff as well as identifying and aligning services and resources to support community members who have been hurt and are in need of healing,” said THT Deputy Director Gregory Paulson, who also serves as a paramedic in Trenton.

The National Council for Behavioral Health, a leader in the field of trauma-informed care, is working with THT to deliver the trainings. Their work on this project includes facilitation of a year-long Learning Community, which is comprised of Trenton area organizations and agencies that have committed to an ongoing process of self-assessment and reflection to transform their policies and procedures to be more trauma-informed. The National Council also coordinates the Mental Health First Aid program across the U.S. and operates the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-Health Resources and Services Administration (SAMHSA-HRSA) Center for Integrated Health Solutions to provide nationwide technical assistance on integrating primary and behavioral healthcare.

About the Trenton Health Team
Trenton Health Team (THT) is an alliance of the city's major providers of healthcare services including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the city's Health Department. In collaboration with residents and the city’s active social services network, THT is developing an integrated healthcare delivery system to transform the city’s fragmented primary care system and restore health to the city. The THT receives generous support from The Nicholson Foundation, corporate partners and other foundations. For more information, visit http://www.trentonhealthteam.org.

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Media queries, please contact: Becky Taylor at 609-240-6886 or Becky(at)btaylorpa(dot)com

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Becky Taylor
Trenton Health Team
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