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New Opportunities for Trauma-Responsive Policies and Programming in 2023

SUMMARY: The Pathways Learning Network convened on January 11, 2023, for a conversation about potential pathways for implementing trauma-responsive policies and programs at the state and federal levels.

Pathways to Resilience was joined by the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) to discuss areas where new governors’ platforms and federal investments may align in the movement for trauma-responsive policies in 2023.


TRANSCRIPT: The following is a rough transcript of the conversation, powered by AI. Please excuse typos and grammatical errors.


Nine new Governors were sworn in this week, and we've been looking at their campaign priorities. Seven of the nine are focused on Early Childhood issues and education, six are focused on justice issues, six are focused on homelessness and housing issues, and three are focused on equity issues.


These new governor priorities show promise for intersecting with the work of Pathways to Resilience. In the early childhood and education sectors, we're tracking Universal Pre-K programs, school-based mental health services, and re-entry programming to reduce recidivism.


There are a lot of states that are focused on homelessness and housing issues, as well as behavioral health. The new Governors are also focusing on addressing social drivers of health and promoting greater equity in health care.


Wes Moore, who is about to be sworn in as Governor of Maryland, has committed to adopting a trauma-informed lend in all aspects of his work. He has posted a healing-centered map to make Maryland a trauma-informed resilient and healing-centered State.


Pathways to Resilience is guided by a steering committee comprised of first spouses of Governors. These spouses have impressive resumes and have supported efforts that align with the Pathways goals across sectors.


As new Governors are sworn in and state legislative sessions get underway, we've released a set of non-partisan talking points that describe the prevalence of trauma and adversity and make the case that preventing and addressing trauma should be a key priority for 2023 another pathway we're also really pleased to announce the release of another Pathways to Resilience resource, the National Compendium of trauma-responsive policies and programs, which and summarizes nearly 90 examples of governing bodies' policies, programs, interventions that states and communities are already leveraging to prevent and address trauma.


Sarah has put a link in the chat, please go check it out, and if you could put yourself on mute, that would be great. The compendium is organized into two sections, one looking at governance models, the other at policies and programs.


Jesse Kohler and Jen Curt are here to introduce themselves and to tell us a little bit about CTIPP’s work and priorities. Tanya is going to ask some questions and answer some answers.


CTIPP was founded in 2015 to promote trauma-informed care at the Federal level and to uplift voices and advocacy in Congressional offices. We've seen so much progress over the last seven years and we look forward to continuing to grow.


The pandemic exacerbated the need for trauma-informed care and healing centered engagement, and Congress is trying to reckon with the problem by working toward a systemic approach to prevent trauma. We're trying to get away from Patchwork policy and really Drive transformation at its root, and so we're looking at it through a public health pyramid. By working toward primary prevention, we can reduce the amount of treatment that's necessary, while bolstering strong intervention and treatment.


CTIPP’s works to advance policies and programs through a Grassroots strategy that includes shaping policy, empowering Advocates, and amplifying Community Voices. They hope to continue to build relationships with Congressional offices, stakeholders, and people in communities all across the country.


We seek strategic opportunities to promote trauma-informed policies and practices through strategic communications and strategic policy to continue to advance the movement. This is a non-partisan issue, and we can really drive this forward regardless of who is in office.


Dan Press, who was the Energizer Bunny for CTIPP from its launch until we got staff, left his lasting vision in Press On, which connects advocacy work to practices taking place in communities.


As we continue to build the Coalition of Coalitions, we are working to hear from the experiences that folks are having at the state and local level, and to elevate those to a national perspective so that others can learn from them.


Jen, who has advocated for Federal legislative action, will tell us a bit about the RISE (resilience, investment, support and expansion)from trauma act.


Jen, the Director of Government Affairs at CTIPP, says that the RISE From Trauma Act is a great place to start the conversation about trauma and that it would be an important step in getting us to focus on prevention at the community level.


The bill would fund community-based coalitions, enhance training programs at the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Department of Ed Education, and enable insurance to reimburse community figures like mentors, peers, Faith leaders to do work to address trauma.


Jen will weigh in on how we might see legislative and Executive Authority used in the upcoming year to promote cross-sector engagement. Jen believes that the current split between the Republican controlled House and Democratic control the Senate will make that less likely.


We are supporting the Department of Health and Human Services on their new Equitable, long-term Recovery and Resilience Federal Plan to help build resilient communities and use existing statute and funding to better accomplish some of these goals.


The Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act were passed over the last two years and have a lot of money for state and local governments to use. We plan to help them use that money using a trauma-informed lens.


The Post-Disaster Mental Health Response Act, which was signed into law in December, allows communities to use peer support groups and educational events on trauma after disasters like a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.


CTIPP plans to support States and communities in the upcoming year by being a watchdog and partnering with folks who do work on the state level and the local level to make sure that they're applying for the funding that's available and using it in a trauma-informed way. We are doing a lot of things to connect people who are doing this work at the state and local level to Federal funding, but oftentimes they don't know about it or don't have the capacity to apply for it.


We have CTIPP CAN calls every third Wednesday of the month where we give updates on what's happening in DC.


We're launching a new campaign on January 23rd called the Take On Trauma Campaign, and we're encouraging all members of Congress to really take trauma seriously and meet with their constituents who care about this.


I think making the case, developing relationships, and having these conversations are so important, and we're trying to help boost that education and equip people at the state and local level to really understand how to engage and to be able to connect them to those engagement opportunities.


Jen, thank you for all of that information, and I'll focus on what my cool responsibility is on this call. I'm the Project Director for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the chair of the Statewide Trauma Informed Care Task Force.


Within that task force, we have been working diligently to create a framework to recommend to the legislation at the end of this 2023, and we have successfully introduced a bill to create an Office of Wellness and Resilience to implement the recommendations within the report.


I got appointed to be the Executive Director for the Office of Wellness and Resilience, which is housed in the office of the Governor. I've written all the content to have somebody else implement the recommendations.


My office is now starting on the 18th, in a week from today, and will have some very specific tasks that it is going to address, including creating a Social Determinants of Health dashboard and looking at Federal funding opportunities.


Governor Greene has made equity, mental health, equity and parity a priority in his current agenda and is aware of the emergency needs that happened in rural communities.


The Office of Wellness and Resilience is looking at the social determinants of health, trauma-informed care, and resilient practices, and how they can provide positive outcomes for people with high Ace scores.


Governor Green has requested continued funding for the office and has dedicated one of his priorities to houselessness and housing policy. He has also requested increased Federal fund coordination and has made it a priority to address the interwoven nature of mental health and houselessness.


The Governor is requesting a position to create a Statewide Mental Health Policy Coordinator, and he is very much in line with looking at mental health parity. One of our largest issues is the lack of qualified staff, so we're hoping to coordinate with the other positions within the Governor's office and the Governor himself to focus on this issue.


Rob is here from Pennsylvania, and he is implementing policies and programs within the Attorney General and Governor's offices. He says that he is thinking about why Tia is so happy, and that it is 78 degrees in Hawaii and 35 degrees where he is.


I have been in the law enforcement world for about 40 years and have seen so much trauma. I didn't have a word for it until I learned about it, but it was clear to me that so many people getting involved with criminal justice system had been exposed to trauma.


When I came to the Attorney General's office in 2017, I talked about creating a Trauma Informed Pennsylvania and in 2019, Governor Wolf announced the creation of an Office of Advocacy and Reform. I was one of the 25 people who created a report and we divided into action teams.


Marianne Macboy and I have spent the last three years trying to put together a package and understanding of trauma and how to get it out. Marianne has done an extraordinary job in terms of implementing a lot of stuff that just needed to happen.


Pennsylvania has a lot of issues with violence and we have brought together a couple hundred people in within El Pa, and we have gone online again thanks to Marianne and some of her colleagues in the Governor's office that they have now created and Resilience Pa.


Philadelphia is experiencing horrific levels of violence and so we've come up with a 200 Page report on how to create a trauma-informed criminal justice system and juvenile justice system. It has over 150 recommendations in that area.


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