Eight local health providers, UWM respond to gun violence at schools

Through a federal grant created to help communities respond to gun violence at schools, eight regional behavioral health providers and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are working to strengthen trauma and substance abuse counseling services for youth.

UWM’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare recently received a three-year, $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to train social work master’s degree students in trauma-informed care and substance abuse counseling for children, adolescents and young adults.

Milwaukee-area behavioral health providers who are partnering with UWM are: Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, Rogers Behavioral Health System, Columbia St. Mary’s Behavioral Medicine Services, Aurora Behavioral Health Services, Norris Adolescent Center, Benedict Center, Outreach Community Health Centers, and Rosecrance.

The bulk of the federal funds for this program–the Youth Oriented Substance Abuse and Trauma Counseling Program–will be used over the next three years to provide stipends for 95 social work graduate students. Each student who qualifies will earn up to $10,000 for two semesters’ work in the field with a partner agency.

Only a small percentage of trauma survivors receive professional treatment for post-traumatic stress, and according to the federal government 10 percent of those with substance abuse problems receive treatment at a specialty facility.

The grant award is the second for federal training that UWM’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare received in 2014. The school was one of 15 sites nationwide to receive a federal training grant aimed at enhancing how social work students, medical residents and student nurse practitioners work with patients who are at risk for or experiencing substance abuse problems.

This three-year grant of $777,412 was received from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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