THRIVING MIND SOUTH FLORIDA ANNOUNCES $2.3 MILLION GRANT FOR FIRST-EVER TRAUMA RECOVERY NETWORK IN FLORIDA TO SUPPORT CRIME VICTIMS
The Groundbreaking Investment in Victim Services Was Made Possible By Attorney General Moody’s Office in an Effort to Address Cycles of Trauma
MIAMI, FL – Today, Thriving Mind South Florida and Attorney General Ashley Moody are announcing a $2.3 million grant for the establishment of the first Trauma Recovery Network in Florida, which will provide comprehensive services for victims of violent crime and their families living in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.
Thriving Mind South Florida, in partnership with the Alliance for Safety and Justice, now offers an innovative, multi-site Trauma Recovery Network providing wraparound services including mental health services, assistance navigating the justice system, accessing victim compensation funds, housing assistance, and crisis intervention using trusted trauma-informed healthcare providers in our community. The new network provides proven approaches to ending cycles of trauma and helping communities heal from violence.
This new program is made possible by a federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant distributed by the Office of Attorney General Moody. The goal is to engage adult and child victims and family members of violent crime who come to the Jackson Health System in crisis. The program offers linkage to community and support services and free high-quality mental health consultation and treatment for victims and their families.
John W. Newcomer, M.D., President and CEO of Thriving Mind, reports that “VOCA funding from the Attorney General’s Office allows us to expand services to survivors of violent crime in South Florida—who may otherwise fall through the cracks in the existing system following initial treatment of their physical injuries.” Steven Proctor, Ph.D., Program Director for the Trauma Recovery Network, notes that, “For the first time, we are able to conduct assertive outreach in trauma centers and emergency departments to connect crime survivors and family members to supportive services and evidence-based trauma treatment in their home community.”
“Through this breakthrough model, clinicians and community leaders can work with victims of crime to transform their hurt into healing and stability. These services will save lives and make Florida safer. We thank Attorney General Moody and Thriving Mind South Florida for their critical support as we work to strengthen our communities and lift up victims during their time of need,” said Aswad Thomas, National Director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, with over 8,000 members who are crime victims in Florida.
Recent surveys have shown that 7 in 10 Florida crime victims report experiencing at least one symptom of trauma, which contributes to a wide range of problems with work and school as well as addiction, housing instability, and mental health issues. Ongoing unaddressed trauma is especially an issue for victims who repeatedly experience crime in disadvantaged and underserved communities, without the necessary support to help them heal and move forward. Left untreated, victimization can potentially lead to physical and mental health problems including chronic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders. Dr. Proctor went on to note “We’re also starting to see research coming out showing increased emergency department visits for intimate partner violence and child abuse and neglect in the past year, underscoring the need for this multi-site Trauma Recovery Network.”
“Receiving timely and substantive support is crucial when people are simply trying to heal and get their lives back on track. I cannot overstate how tremendously life changing this trauma recovery network would have been when my sister was murdered or when I escaped an abusive relationship and how much it will mean for survivors to have a chance to thrive. I thank Attorney General Moody for making this possible.” said Trenise Bryant, local Miami member of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.
Among the Thriving Mind team members who will be working with crime victims through the Trauma Recovery Network is Megan Hobson, who survived a traumatic gunshot wound as a teenager in Miami. “This program can play a key role for survivors like me and communities harmed by violent crime because we have the opportunity to greatly improve mental and emotional health, reduce the likelihood of victims becoming victims again and keep families intact. Addressing trauma is a critical missing piece in strategies to stop the cycle of crime and will create safer communities.”
This Trauma Recovery Network pilot project involves the provision of evidence-based trauma treatment consistent with the early Trauma Recovery Center program developed by Dr. Alicia Boccellari at the University of California at San Francisco. Thriving Mind will receive technical assistance and support from the National Alliance of TRCs (NATRC) and Dr. Boccellari, and they will work together with NATRC to advocate and increase access to trauma-informed quality services for all people impacted by violence and systemic inequities.
About Thriving Mind South Florida
Thriving Mind South Florida (contracting as South Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc.) promotes access to effective, accountable, and compassionate care for individuals and families in the South Florida community with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Thriving Mind funds and oversees a safety net of services for uninsured individuals in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, with a total population of almost 3 million people, supported by the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families and other public and private sources. For more information, visit: www.thrivingmind.org
About Jackson Health System
Jackson Health System is one of the nation’s largest and most respected public health systems, with a mission of providing one standard of high quality care to all residents of Miami-Dade County. The nonprofit academic medical system is anchored by Jackson Memorial Hospital, which is home to Ryder Trauma Center and the Miami Transplant Institute. The system also includes Holtz Children’s Hospital/The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial, Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital, Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at UHealth/Jackson Memorial, Jackson North Medical Center, Jackson South Medical Center, Jackson West Medical Center, multiple primary care and specialty care centers, a network of UHealth Jackson Urgent Care centers, physician practices, two long-term care nursing facilities, and a network of mental health facilities.
About the Alliance for Safety and Justice
The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win evidence-based new safety priorities in states across the country. It also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 90,000 crime survivors with over 8000 members in Florida. For more information, visit: https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org or https://cssj.org
This project was supported by Award No VOCA-2021-South Florida Behavioral -00523 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs. Sponsored by Thriving Mind South Florida and the state of Florida.