Handle With Care Initiative to mitigate impact of childhood trauma

  • Heywood Healthcare's new initiative, Handle With Care, aims to mitigate the impact of childhood trauma, using a collaborative model that promotes school and community partnerships. Pictured are Handle With Care training facilitators. From left, Edward Jacoubs, MSW, Office of the District Attorney of Plymouth County, Michael F. Ellis, Coordinator of Zero Suicide Initiative, Men's Suicide Prevention Project and Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Trainer, and Patrick Nevins, JD, Office of The District Attorney of Plymouth County. —Heywood Healthcare

Published: 10/7/2019 9:45:18 PM
Modified: 10/7/2019 9:45:14 PM

GARDNER/ATHOL — Heywood Healthcare’s Regional Behavior Health Collaborative is leading the implementation of a new initiative called “Handle With Care,” which aims to mitigate the impact of childhood trauma.

Handle With Care promotes school and community partnerships to ensure that children who are exposed to trauma in their home, school or community receive appropriate interventions to help them achieve academically at their highest levels, despite traumatic circumstances they may have endured. Regardless of the source of trauma, the common thread for effective intervention is the school or child care agency. 

Handle With Care is a regional initiative that will enhance communication, collaboration and training with law enforcement, teachers and administrators, early childhood educators and providers, and health care providers to better respond to early childhood trauma in the North Central and North Quabbin regions.

“Adverse Childhood Trauma in our region is an all too common occurrence that significantly impacts a child’s ability to succeed academically and socially,” said Dawn Casavant, Vice President of External Affairs for Heywood Healthcare. “We are grateful for the awarded funding for this program, provided by the Attorney General’s Office as well as from the Digital Credit Union Foundation.”

The Office of Attorney General Maura Healey announced the funding by their office in the amount of $85,000 will provide specialized training in trauma-informed care to more than 30 child care providers and community organizations as part of the Handle With Care Initiative in the North Central Massachusetts and North Quabbin regions.

“Young children who have experienced trauma need special support from child care and early education providers,” Healey said in a statement. “We are pleased to help meet the growing need for training to support trauma-informed care for our youngest learners.”

Digital Credit Union funding will support regional training and implementation costs working with five school districts in Heywood Healthcare’s primary service area.

Heywood Healthcare, an independent, non-profit, community owned healthcare system, and Mount Wachusett Community College, a two-year public associate degree granting institution, are the recipients of funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the Attorney General Maura Healey, aimed at helping children who have experienced trauma.

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