Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined public health officials Tuesday to launch new neighborhood-based trauma response and recovery teams that will offer immediate support to Boston residents and ongoing access to evidence-based trauma treatment.
Overseen by the Boston Public Health Commission, the NTTs will support residents' and the community's ability to heal following a traumatic event. Specifically, the NTTs will offer individual and family crisis response services, short-term case management, coping groups and ongoing trauma recovery services.
"With the new Neighborhood Trauma Teams, in the aftermath of violence, community health centers, hospitals and community groups will now be able to coordinate immediate response and sustained recovery for all those affected," said Mayor Walsh. "Together, we'll break the cycle of violence and help support those who are healing."
This model was designed with input from over 350 community residents and providers through 14 neighborhood listening sessions hosted by BPHC, during which BPHC staff heard what residents and communities need most following a violent or traumatic event.
"As a result of these listening sessions, we designed a citywide comprehensive strategy to meet the needs of residents following a traumatic event," said Chief of Health and Human Services Felix Arroyo. "Funds will support the Neighborhood Trauma Teams and a mobile vendor that is able to serve residents across the city, regardless of where they are or where the incident happened."
"Over the past five years, BPHC has trained over 120 clinicians across the city in evidence-based trauma treatment and provided trauma awareness training to over 2,500 youth workers working in community-based organizations," said BPHC Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH. "The Neighborhood Trauma Teams will build on existing efforts and enhance response and recovery services for residents impacted by violence and trauma, creating a coordinated system of care in the City to address the needs of every resident, and identify and mitigate the impact of trauma on Boston families."
"As trusted providers located right in our neighborhoods, health centers are well-positioned to provide critically needed trauma recovery services and to work with community partners to improve the comprehensive response to violence in our City, said James W. Hunt, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. "The impacts of trauma are far reaching and this funding increases our centers' ability to offer skilled and compassionate care to those who suffer its effects."
The NTTs are supported through a combination of City funding and grants from Boston Children's Hospital and Partners HealthCare System. The Justice Resource Institute's SMART Team will provide a 24-hour hotline for residents seeking support and citywide trauma response services for neighborhoods where a funded team is not based. This mobile team will also support the funded teams with backup care as needed.
The teams were selected through a competitive RFP process and include:
- Dorchester: Bowdoin Street Health Center and Greater Four Corners Action Coalition
- Jamaica Plain: Brigham & Women's Hospital, Brookside Community Health Center Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center and Jamaica Plain Coalition: Tree of Life / Árbol de Vida
- Roxbury: Whittier Street Health Center and Madison Park Development Corp.
- East Boston: East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and North Suffolk Mental Health Association.
- Mattapan: Mattapan Community Health Center
The NTTs will conduct community outreach and engagement to ensure residents know how to access services, and will host community meetings to share safety information and provide safe spaces for groups to come together for healing.