There’s a new resource in Rockford for survivors of violent crimes. OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center has opened a trauma recovery center called OSF Strive Trauma Recovery Center (TRC).
The OSF Strive TRC is for survivors, age 14 and older, of violent crime who are experiencing post-traumatic distress but not receiving other mental health care. That includes people struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a trauma such as gun violence, assaults, domestic violence, armed violence or robbery in which they are the victim or witness.
“One in 75 people is involved in a violent crime,” said Therasa Yehling, manager of the OSF Strive TRC. “Rockford is resource poor for its size and the amount of problems we’re facing as a community. We are another resource who can help. It’s community trauma. It’s child abuse, human trafficking, watching someone severely injured by DUI. We need to educate the community that being a survivor of violent crime is a disease just like any other disease.”
This is the second Strive location for TRC to open at OSF HealthCare. A similar program opened at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria four years ago.
The Rockford program is modeled after the University of California San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center (UCSF TRC): Removing Barriers to Care and Transforming Services for Survivors of Violent Crime, a program created by Alicia Boccellari, Ph.D., director of the University of California San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center.
“The goal of the TRC is to provide a safety net of services for survivors of violent crime who were not likely to engage with existing mainstream mental health or social services,” said Yehling, who has more than 25 years of experience working with survivors of domestic violence in Rockford and Chicago and has served on statewide boards. “We do this by combining assertive outreach, clinical case management, and trauma-informed therapy to deal with the emotional wounds of interpersonal violence.”
OSF Strive TRC is located on the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center campus and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours will adjust based on the needs of its clients.
OSF Strive staff includes therapists, case managers, a project evaluator and an outreach coordinator, who helps keep clients engaged if they are put on a waiting list or drop out of services for any reason. An OSF Strive therapist will work from the Family Peace Center two days a week and will collaborate with other agencies throughout the Rockford area to provide services more easily to the underserved.
All services will be provided in a safe environment of the client’s choice. With the current COVID restrictions, services will be via telehealth and/or phone. “We can be creative,” said Yehling. “Our center is not limited to therapy and case management. We can provide advocacy by going to appointments with the clients and/or in-home, one-on-one, real-world education; go grocery shopping with clients to help with budgeting; help the client cook to eat healthy and so on. Our goal is to remove all barriers to providing services that the clients need.”
This project is supported by a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
Learn more about OSF Strive here: https://www.osfhealthcare.org/mental-health/services/trauma/