Funded Projects 


SAMHSA funded Trauma Treatment Program

Children’s Research Triangle’s (CRT) Trauma Treatment Program (TTP) is an assessment-driven, trauma informed intervention program based in Chicago, Illinois. Funded since 2009 as a Community Treatment and Service Center for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the TTP makes trauma-informed therapeutic services available to children and adolescents ages 0 to 18 by providing and evaluating evidenced-based interventions, and educating professionals, caretakers, and other community members about the impact of trauma on youth. The TTP is an expansion of the existing program at CRT, thereby increasing the number of children served in the community. The TTP follows a comprehensive screening, assessment, and treatment process, which includes foundational material from the NCTSN's 2012 Breakthrough Series Collaborative, Improving Comprehensive Assessments and Case Formulations by Implementing the NCTSN Core Curriculum. As part of the TTP, all children and adolescents referred to CRT for services undergo an initial screening for trauma exposure. Children identified as having a history of trauma are referred for an assessment designed to obtain more information about the child’s trauma history, behavioral presentation, and trauma-related symptomatology. A high standard of care will be ensured by ongoing training, consultation, and reflective supervision for TTP staff and partner site  The TTP works in multiple under-resourced community settings, requiring the use of a variety of treatment interventions to best meet the needs of the clients served. Consequently, the TTP employs several Evidence-Based Practices, including Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS). During each of the five years of funding, 400 children and adolescents will be screened for traumatic histories; 225 will undergo a systematic trauma assessment; 60 will participate in TTP trauma-focused interventions; 60 will participate in Youth Trauma Workshops; one partner agency will receive intensive consultation services; 100 community members will receive training about the mental health impact of childhood trauma, and 50 community members will receive training on prevention/mental health promotion topics related to childhood trauma. Taking into account overlap in screening, assessment, and treatment, CRT will provide direct services to a minimum of 3,050 individuals over the five years. We are pleased that this grant has also allowed us to expand services to military families in the Chicagoland area.

PROJECT TEAM:

Project Director
Linda Schwartz, Ph.D.

Project Coordinator
Julianna Wesolowski, LCPC

Project Evaluator
Anne Wells, Ph.D.

Training Coordinator
Samantha Orbach, Psy.D.


SAMHSA funded Youth Mental Health First Aid Training Grant

For this project, CRT will provide Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training to organizations serving high-risk youth located in the Chicago Metropolitan area in predominantly low-income, minority communities facing disparities in mental health identification and treatment.  The target training population for the project works in a range of fields that have frequent contact with youth who are at significant risk of developing mental health disorders, including child protective agencies, faith-based organizations, gang violence prevention groups, youth mentoring agencies, family support/teen parenting programs, schools and educational institutions, domestic violence shelters, juvenile and family court, medical providers, and military-serving organizations.  The high-risk youth served by these agencies include youth exposed to community violence; youth from homes with domestic violence; youth who have experienced child maltreatment; youth in foster care; children of military service members; and youth who have experienced prenatal substance exposure. Many youth fall into several of these risk categories simultaneously, and interface with multiple professionals and paraprofessionals. The youth in these high-risk groups have well-documented, heightened rates of serious mental health disorders and emotional disturbance. The overarching purpose of this project is to increase both the identification of mental health disorders and the referral of high-risk youth to appropriate services throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area.  This project will provide valuable training to participants on recognizing the symptoms of common mental illnesses and substance use disorders, strategies to de-escalate crisis situations safely, and how to initiate timely referrals to mental health and substance abuse resources available in the community. This information is vital for the many front-line disciplines that interact with youth exhibiting untreated mental health disorders and crises on a daily basis.

PROJECT TEAM:

Co-Project Directors
Linda Schwartz, Ph.D.
Samantha Orbach, Psy.D.

YMHFA Trainer
Wendy Kovacs, Ph.D., LMFT

Outreach Coordinator
Julianna Wesolowski, LCPC

Project Evaluator
Anne Wells, Ph.D.