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Mayor Walsh announces new trauma response teams

The City-coordinated trauma teams will lead ongoing support for vulnerable populations.

 During his third State of the City address Tuesday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the establishment of five new neighborhood-based trauma response and recovery teams that will strengthen efforts to support Boston residents impacted by violence.

The Neighborhood Trauma Teams (NTT) in Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Mattapan and East Boston will be managed by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and co-led in each neighborhood by teams consisting of a community health center and a community partner.

"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 heal our city."

This model was designed with feedback from a community engagement process that included 14 listening sessions hosted by BPHC, during which BPHC staff heard from more than 350 residents  about what their individual and community needs have been following a violent or traumatic event.

"Through this new partnership, the City, community-based organizations and community health centers will work together to ensure continuity of care for residents and communities from the moment that we respond to incidents of violence through the ongoing provision of behavioral health services," said BPHC Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH. "We're grateful to have support on this effort from from Children's Hospital Boston and Partners HealthCare System. Their resources have made it possible to build on our existing trauma response efforts to best serve our communities' needs."

The NTTs are supported through a combination of City funding and grants from Boston Children's Hospital Boston and Partners HealthCare System. The teams were selected through a competitive RFP process. The three grants to support Neighborhood Trauma Teams in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain have already been awarded. Two additional grants will be awarded in March to fund the teams in East Boston and Mattapan. 

The Justice Resource Institute's SMART Team will provide a 24-hour hotline for residents seeking support and will provide citywide trauma response services for neighborhoods that do not have a funded team. This mobile team will also support the five funded teams with backup care as needed.

The currently funded teams include:

  • Lead Agency:  Bowdoin Street Health Center
  • Community Partner: Greater Four Corners Action Coalition
Jamaica Plain
  • Lead Agency:  Brigham and Women's Hospital with Southern Jamaica Plain and Brookside Health Centers
  • Community Partner: Tree of Life
  • Lead Agency:  Whittier Street Health Center
  • Community Partner:  Madison Park Community Development Corporation

This new NTT model builds on existing trauma resources, programs, and services, including the Violence, Intervention & Prevention (VIP) neighborhood coalitions. BPHC engages with residents through five VIP coalitions to design and implement violence prevention strategies at the community level. VIP works with residents to develop strategies to prevent violence where they live by providing support for resident-led coalitions, promoting youth engagement in positive activities, and creating opportunities to develop leadership.

The NTTs will add to the efforts of VIP by supporting the healing of residents following a traumatic event. NTTs will offer immediate individual and family support and ongoing access to evidence-based trauma treatment. The teams will conduct community outreach and engagement to make sure 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.

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