OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

Peoria, Illinois

OSF Strive

A Trauma Support Program

Violence can have long-lasting mental and emotional effects. We understand that you want a better future for yourself. We will be by your side as you find that path forward.

OSF Strive provides counseling and other services to guide you through the healing process. We cannot change the past, but we can help you learn to cope with the distress you may be feeling.

Our counselors are specially trained to help you after a traumatic event. Going to counseling does not mean you will have to recount or relive your experience. Our counselors will listen to what you are experiencing today and help you find a better future.

We can also connect you with an advocate who will be on your side. This person can go with you to meetings with police, attorneys, landlords or others you may be dealing with. They will help you understand the process, know your rights and get answers to your questions.

These services are provided free of charge to adults and teens who have experienced or witnessed violent crime and live in the 61605 ZIP code (South Peoria).

Ask your doctor about OSF Strive, or call (309) 308-2030 to learn more.

What is trauma?

Psychologists define trauma as an experience that overwhelms our sense of security. Often this means fearing for your life or the life of someone close to you. It can be a single event, series of events or set of circumstances.

Traumatic events can include:

  • Gun violence (or violence with any type of weapon)
  • Assaults
  • Domestic violence
  • Armed violence or robbery

Signs of trauma

There’s no right or wrong way to respond to trauma. This stress can trigger responses in the body and brain affect the way we think, act and behave.

  • Physical signs

    • Trouble eating or sleeping.
    • Feeling tense. You may clench muscles (hands, shoulders, jaw) without realizing. 
    • Panic attacks. Suddenly feeling scared or like you cannot breathe; heart racing; tingling in the hands or mouth. 
  • Emotional signs
    • Feeling numb, in a daze, shocked. 
    • Feeling scared, even in places you used to feel safe. 
    • Feeling sad or helpless. Blaming yourself for what happened. 
    • Having flashbacks or feeling like you are reliving the event. 
  • Change in behavior

    • Using drugs or alcohol to feel better. 
    • Avoiding things that remind you of the trauma. 
    • Struggling at work, school or in relationships with family, friends or significant other. 
  • Additional signs of trauma in children or teens:

    • Acting out. May play out trauma in drawings or play time.
    • New fears- fear of separation from caregivers, avoiding places they used to go.
    • Bed wetting despite being toilet trained 
    • Becoming withdrawn, barely speaking or not speaking at all.


This project was supported by Grant #2016-VA-GX-0027, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice, or the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.