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Devereux Texas uses $50,000 grant for trauma training post-Hurricane Harvey 

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall last year with unrelenting rain, causing devastating and widespread flooding, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Texas was put to the test. 

Rising floodwaters from the late August 2017 storm forced the evacuation of Devereux’s Victoria and League City campuses near Houston that serve the needs of more than 200 children, adolescents and adults with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. For those individuals – and the more than 125 staff members who care for them every day – this was an experience unlike any other. Click here to learn more about how the Hurricane impacted Devereux Texas. 

Following the storm, Devereux Texas applied for – and was awarded – a $50,000 grant from the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies, in partnership with the Rebuild Texas Fund, which offers funding to organizations working in communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. The purpose of the grant was to provide advanced-level trauma training.  

“The children and adolescents in our care were all affected by the hurricane, as were our staff members – many of whom lost their homes,” said Devereux Texas Director of Clinical Services Dr. Belgin Tunali. “We wanted to deepen our ability to meet the needs of a traumatized population by training our clinicians, direct care professionals and special education teachers on advanced levels of trauma support.” 

Focusing funds on advanced trauma-informed care

Since receiving the grant earlier this year, 13 clinicians at Devereux Texas’ League City campus and three at the Victoria campus have completed trauma training to become Certified Clinical Trauma Professionals, enhancing their knowledge of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief and loss.   

“After the hurricane, our main concern was being able to continue to provide exceptional services to our individuals, many of whom already suffer from severe trauma,” said Devereux Texas Executive Director Pam Reed. “By taking this next step in trauma training, we’ve increased our ability to provide compassionate, evidence-based treatment for the most vulnerable children and adolescents in our care.”  

After certifying most of its clinicians, Devereux Texas turned its attention in September to providing additional trauma training to approximately 150 direct care staff members and 25 supervisors at its League City campus. The training included teaching self-care practices. 

“We can’t stress enough the importance of self-care for a healthy mind, body and soul,” Dr. Tunali explained. “Before staff members – especially those on the front lines – can effectively take care of the individuals they serve every day, they need to take care of themselves.” 

Keeping skills fresh

Devereux Texas plans to use the remaining grant funds to create a library for clinicians, nurses and teachers with additional training materials, including videos and best-practice tips for trauma-informed care. 

Refresher courses also will be offered, to ensure the learned skills are practiced and demonstrated accurately and effectively – with every interaction. 

To learn more about Devereux Texas’ programs and services, click here. To learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, click here.

 

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