- DE-STRESS Grant Project
- Nathan Stahley, Representative
To truly improve community mental health and reduce substance abuse, we must better understand how the exposure to trauma – abuse, neglect, household dysfunction – affects individuals. We are working to create a trauma-informed community that is better prepared and has adequate resources to respond to behavioral health needs of individuals.
The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study examined associations between childhood maltreatment and adult health and well-being. It concluded that ACEs may lead to social and cognitive impairment, and subsequent adoption of potential high risk behaviors, disease, disability, social problems, and early death. Trauma-Informed Care is an approach to providing services that take in consideration the social history of the clients, patients and customers we serve. By raising awareness of the impact of ACEs and engaging our community in a trauma-informed response, we hope to create safe and empathetic environments for healing.
With a funding secured through the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH), health care, social service and education partners across the community are working on the Development of Systems for Trauma-Response Education and Supportive Solutions (DE-STRESS). The DE-STRESS grant project has engaged local partners to create trainings introducing key trauma-informed concepts as well as to teach trauma-response skills. Other components include a mindfulness class program for healthcare providers, an organizational assessment toolkit, a local mental health clinic for low-income participants, mental health resource directory via Montana211, and Universal Home Visiting Referral.