Trauma-Informed Awareness Day: Building a Healing Centered Illinois - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Trauma-Informed Awareness Day: Building a Healing Centered Illinois

May 25, 2022

On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative hosted a virtual event in honor of Illinois’ fourth annual Trauma-Informed Awareness Day. Building a Healing Centered Illinois served as a call for meaningful action to translate awareness about trauma into resilience-building and healing-centered transformative policies and practices across the state. View the recording here!

Event Recap:

In her opening remarks, State Senator Julie Morrison, sponsor of the Senate Trauma-Informed Awareness Day Resolution, emphasized the importance of lifting up the stories of those impacted by trauma as an advocacy tool to compel policymakers to make better decisions to achieve healthy outcomes in communities across Illinois.

Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton’s message discussed efforts such as the 21st Century Illinois Transformation Model in partnership with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice to create more healing environments for youth and the importance of addressing systemic inequities and providing resources to support safety and security in communities.

Our leadership panel, introduced by Dr. Colleen Cicchetti (Clinical Director of the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition) and moderated by Bridget Gavaghan (Director of the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative) discussed their reasons for championing trauma-informed policy efforts and ideas for how to construct solutions to address trauma and advance Illinois towards becoming a healing-centered state.

State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) spoke to the importance of designing and evaluating policies by whether they facilitate healing or create more harm, while Delrice Adams (Executive Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority) shared how the state’s violence prevention efforts are aiming to foster resilient communities by addressing immediate needs while also investing in prevention.

Krish Mohip (Deputy Education Officer, Illinois State Board of Education) lifted up the Whole Child Task Force’s recommendations for building trauma-responsive, healing-centered schools and communities and the importance of putting those recommendations into action, and Cara Wiley (Director of Wellness, Illinois State Board of Education) shared how ISBE is supporting the implementation of trauma-responsive policies and practices in schools and communities through the expansion of the REACH program.

Dr. Dana Weiner (Director of the Governor’s Office Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative) shared the strengths-based approach that is underlying the development of a blueprint for reshaping the state’s children’s behavioral health system.

Panelists shared their vision, ideas, and commitments for advancing Illinois towards being a resilience-building, healing-centered state. View our presentation slides here and answers from our Q&A here!

During the event, we also featured some of our favorite posts from the #MyTraumaInformedIL campaign. Our Trauma Informed Awareness Day toolkit allowed supporters to participate in the campaign and share what a Trauma-Informed Illinois meant to them.

First established by Illinois House and Senate resolutions in 2019, Trauma-Informed Awareness Day highlights the impact of trauma and the importance of prevention and resilience through trauma-informed, healing-centered care. The Collaborative has partnered with State Representative Robyn Gabel and State Senator Julie A. Morrison to introduce resolutions (HR 725 and SR 791) recognizing May 25th as Trauma Informed Awareness Day for 2022. The resolutions highlight the need for trauma-informed, healing-centered policies and supports throughout Illinois to build thriving, resilient communities. We thank Senator Morrison and Representative Gabel for their leadership.