July 24, 2014
SIU Children’s Network Receives Grant from Poshard Foundation for Abused Children
The Children’s Medical and Mental Health Resource Network, a program of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine based in Anna, has received a $100,000 grant from the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children. The funds will help create a Mental Health Resource Network in the southern 16 counties of Illinois.
The new network will increase the number of mental health professionals in the region through an 18-month learning collaborative on Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). This therapy is an evidence-based treatment used to treat children who experience trauma such as abuse. An estimated 42 percent of Illinois children have suffered one or more traumatic experiences.
The goal is to produce 50 TF-CBT-certified mental health clinicians working in southern Illinois. Others who will receive training include supervisors and the community first responders (teachers, law enforcement, day-care professionals, foster parents). The learning collaborative will also have a supervisor track and a broker track to train community partners.
The Poshard Foundation’s vision is to stop the abuse of children and to help them heal physically and emotionally. “Training more professionals to address the needs of traumatized children and to provide direct intervention is a major step forward in filling the gap in service in southern Illinois,” said Glenn Poshard. Jo Poshard added, “Our Foundation views this as a way to have a broad-range and long-term effect in helping traumatized children in southern Illinois. We believe our investment will help to profoundly change the lives and future of abused children.” The Poshards are co-founders of the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children.
The SIU School of Medicine Rural Health Initiative has provided the matching funds to support the Children’s Mental Health Resource Network. “Families in southern Illinois have little access to mental health care, so increasing the availability and access of these services will do great things to help traumatized children,” said Robert Wesley, executive director of SIU School of Medicine’s Regional Medical Programs.
“Someday soon, a child in any of the southern Illinois counties will be able to access trauma treatment and begin to heal,” said Ginger Meyer, LCSW, clinical director for the Children’s Medical and Mental Health Network. “I am thrilled that the Poshard Foundation wants to invest in this critical project. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to provide this learning collaborative opportunity.”
A presentation about the Children’s Mental Health Resource Network will be held at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 31, at John A. Logan College. The Children’s Medical and Mental Health Resource Network along with its collaborative partners: The Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, the Regional Medical Office of Community Health and Services of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and the Illinois Collaboration on Youth will announce the plans for the Children’s Mental Health Resource Network. The public is invited to attend.
Trauma has the potential to affect a person’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive abilities throughout his or her life. Long term effects of untreated trauma include: biological and neurological disorders, chronic depression and/or anxiety disorders, smoking, drug and/or alcohol abuse, dropping out of school, early death, high risk behaviors, obesity and even suicide.