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Hope in Action: An Environmental Scan of Trauma-Informed Efforts to Prevent and Address Substance Harm in Wisconsin

Matthies, Robin – 2020

In 2018, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Public Health received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct an environmental scan of programs across the State that address the linkages between trauma and harmful substance use. This report explores the key findings from the scan to find effective principles, promising practices, and evidence-based models that organizations can use to become more trauma responsive, and adapt to their own needs, community, or context. The findings are based on a scan of 76 Wisconsin initiatives, conducted between January and August of 2019, that identified programs that address the link between trauma and substance harm. Twenty-eight key informant interviews lead to the following key findings: collaboration was considered the most effective principle for guiding program success, according to interviewees; 16 promising practices that promote program success were identified by key informants; and inadequate funding is the most common barrier programs face. Key informants highlighted 10 key considerations to weigh before program implementation: ensuring buy-in, converting training into practice, hiring experienced professionals, starting with clear goals and strong relationships, identifying sustainable funding, motivating and assisting the community, working with local partners, evaluating community needs, acknowledging interrelated risk factors, and building a healthy, inclusive work environment. The report highlights efforts by different regions in the State that address linkages between trauma and harmful substance abuse, discusses the path forward, and identifies resources. 11 references. (Author abstract modified)