142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Importance of Addressing Trauma for Violence Prevention

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Paulette Carter, MPH, LCSW , Children’s Bureau of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
Since 1979, New Orleans’ annual murder rate has consistently been seven to eight times higher than the national average.  Community violence continues to be a problem in New Orleans, resulting in a large proportion of children and caregivers who have been, and continue to be, exposed to violence on a daily basis.  Results from a 2008 survey of 122 New Orleans public school children in grades 2 through 6 indicate that most of the children (92.65%) reported witnessing some type of community violence, with 70.5% having seen someone beat up, 32% having seeing someone shot, 27.95% having seen a dead body outside or in the home, 15.6% having seen someone get stabbed, and 5.7% having seen someone in their home get shot or stabbed.

 Project LAST, created by the Children’s Bureau in 1990, was one of the first programs in the country to recognize the unique needs of children exposed to community violence and child survivors of homicide victims. In fact, Project LAST’s commitment to evidence-informed and evidence-based practice has led to the development of its own evidence-based Grief and Trauma Intervention (GTI), which has been placed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.  The program has been shown to be effective in decreasing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive symptoms, traumatic grief, and global distress from pre-treatment to post-treatment and that these decreases are maintained 3 and 12 months after the intervention has ended.

 Children’s Bureau continues to develop and implement innovative approaches to addressing the mental health needs of children and families in the New Orleans community.  The agency works collaboratively with the New Orleans Health Department, local schools, and the New Orleans Police Department to provide crisis response to children and families who have experienced a traumatic event.  Children’s Bureau is also partnering with Tulane University School of Public Health and the New Orleans Health Department to study the effectiveness of implementing low cost parenting interventions designed to reduce risk of child physical abuse and promote positive parenting in broad segments of the population. 

 As the New Orleans community continues to rethink and reinvent a public education system, Children’s Bureau is working with schools to develop an effective model for a comprehensive system of supports within a school that provides for the mental and behavioral health of all students.  This model provides a spectrum of services, ranging from universal to individual interventions, and from prevention to intervention.  A key component to this model is providing teacher consultation and training that increases the capacity of the teaching staff to foster the social, emotional, intellectual and behavioral development of all students.

Learning Areas:

Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the work of a community based mental health agency in addressing the mental health needs of children and families impacted by violence. Describe examples of how organizations can collaborate in a public health model to prevent violence. Discuss universal practices that can be implemented in schools to build student resiliency and improve school culture. Learn how to assist schools in becoming trauma informed systems.

Keyword(s): School-Based Health, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as Pres/CEO of the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans, a non-profit organization offering children and families in greater New Orleans valid and proven programs that enhance and strengthen mental health and wellness. I have served in this role for seven years and have been with the Children’s Bureau for 14 years, formerly serving as program director of the agency’s grief and trauma program called Project LAST (Loss and Survival Team).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.