MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Clinic Health System has received a $200,000 grant over two years, partnering with Wisconsin communities to increase awareness and address effects of trauma through trauma informed care.
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation awarded the grant, which will be used for training, technical assistance and education by health system staff for community-based organizations, child care centers and school-based afterschool programs, according to a Marshfield Clinic news release.
Regional communities of practice in Eau Claire, Wausau, Stevens Point, the Fox Valley and Milwaukee will be developed to help support implementing trauma-sensitive programs and referral pathways will be developed.
Trauma is extreme stress that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope through an event or circumstances that harms physical or emotional well-being. Research shows stress changes the way the brain reacts to stressors, creates behavioral health problems with forming relationships, perceiving danger, impeding learning, health and overall wellness. Substance abuse in the home, poverty, homelessness and domestic violence are examples of such stress. Trauma-informed therapy has proven more effective than traditional therapy alone at reversing trauma’s negative effects, according to Marshfield Clinic.
Trauma informed care involves understanding, recognizing and responding to effects of trauma. It lessens the blame placed on children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences and helps people respond compassionately to a child’s behavior. Instead of asking “What is wrong with you?” an adult might ask, “What has happened to you?”
“By using trauma informed care, afterschool programs like Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCAs can play an even bigger role in building resilience and positively impacting all children, youth and families,” said Wisconsin’s First Lady Tonette Walker in the release. “I am excited to see how Marshfield Clinic Health System and the Wisconsin Afterschool Network will integrate trauma informed care into their work with afterschool programs and spread their knowledge across Wisconsin.”