The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded a $221,000 grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to train family peer specialists on trauma-informed care—care that is provided with sensitivity to the traumas that people have experienced.
Traumatic events include rape, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, war combat, urban street violence, torture, motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters and violence associated with crime. Witnesses to these events can also be traumatized.
“This grant will help families recover from trauma-related mental illnesses by helping professionals and peer support specialists know more about trauma and its effects,” said Scot L. Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health.
The grant will fund training for peer wellness and support specialists on trauma’s impact across the lifespan and its effects on families. A guidebook and curriculum will be developed, and the role of trauma on support specialists, who may experience trauma through the people they help, will be researched.
“People with mental health and substance use disorders often have experienced trauma,” Adams said. “Services provided to them must be trauma-sensitive in order to help them effectively. This grant will enable us to develop our peer workforce with an appropriate focus on trauma-informed care.”