Trauma Based Behavioral Health Fellowship

Over the last number of years’ psychological trauma, acquired during childhood, has emerged as a common thread unifying myriad behavioral health issues across lifespan. Adverse Child Experiences (ACE) score that counts incidences of adverse and potentially traumatic experiences during childhood has been increasingly linked to various behavioral and physical maladies throughout life. Studies have also shown that risk factors such as poverty, existence of substance use disorders in the household, one parent household types, military background and habitation in medically underserved rural communities manifold the likelihood of adverse childhood experiences and traumatic events. The Southern Illinois counties fit the all of the above bills of risk factors; it’s located in an economically depressed part of the country, has high incidences of child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, characterized by bludgeoning poverty and falls under the federally designated medically underserved rural community category. A team of behavioral health professionals drawn from Southern Illinois University and the clinical practice community in the region had forged a veritable partnership to bring about trauma-based behavioral health workforce education and training initiative in the region. Several projects have been tried out since, with funding from Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and private foundations, and much has been learnt about creating a community grounded trauma-informed interdisciplinary curriculum development for existing and prospective behavioral health professionals. Much has been learnt about university-community partnership model in implementing interdisciplinary behavioral health training and new need areas have emerged since. This particular project proposal builds on that background, aided by preliminary and long-term evaluation data from the existing projects, to add new dimensions and extend the scope of trauma-based training to new disciplines with new elements added to the curricula and extending the capacity of the community by extending the reach of internship-based experiential learning opportunities in the region.

Welcome From the Director



Program Goals

Core Team


Previous Cohorts