For Release: December 5, 2005
Contact: Andy Nordhoff 603-653-0784
Dartmouth Medical School Awarded $1.6 Million Grant to Treat Traumatized Children in New Hampshire
HANOVER, NH—A competitive four-year, $1.6 million federal grant was awarded to Dartmouth Medical School's psychiatry department to treat New Hampshire children and their families who are recovering from a traumatic event in their lives. The grant will be used by the Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center (DTIRC) to address emotional reactions and problems related to a traumatic event, such as sexual or physical abuse, natural disasters, community violence or terrorism. The New Hampshire grant was one of 19 grants given out nationally by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to fund a network of community-based treatment and services centers.
"Working together, and using the expertise of the national center, we have confidence that we will really see some positive changes in New Hampshire over the 4 years of the grant," said Dr. Stanley Rosenberg, a professor of psychiatry and of family and community medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, who is directing the New Hampshire grant.
The funds will be dedicated to carrying out a specific project in New Hampshire called the Project for Adolescent Trauma Treatment (PATT). PATT will bring in national experts to train local mental health service providers from NH community agencies in evidence-based therapies proven to be effective in treating traumatized children. The New Hampshire grant will target adolescents with severe emotional disturbance who are receiving services at 10 public mental health centers throughout the state. The project will begin by training child clinicians at the clinical sites of West Central Behavioral Health in Lebanon, Claremont and Newport, and then continue training at the remaining community mental health agencies.
Another benefit of the grant for New Hampshire is that the Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center will become a member of a national network of 45 child trauma centers called the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). Congress created the NCTSN in 2000 in response to the growing needs of children exposed to trauma in the US. Studies have shown that by their 16th birthday, 25 percent of American children are exposed to at least one significant trauma and up to 15 percent of girls and 6 percent of boys who experience trauma could develop serious mental health needs.
Coordinated by the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, the network's mission is to increase access to care and improve the quality of treatment for children who have experienced traumatic events. "We are very pleased that New Hampshire will be part of this national effort to improve the lives of traumatized children," stated Rosenberg. "We are fortunate to have Joe Perry, from Children's Mental Health Services of New Hampshire and Paul Gorman, president and CEO of West Central Behavioral Health, as co-directors of this project. We hope that our strategy of first training a core group of mental health providers in effective trauma treatment and then having them train more providers, will help to sustain the improvements in care for our children beyond the 4 years of the grant."