The unfortunate fact is that acts of terrorism, mass violence or natural disaster occur each week, and the notion of "it can't happen here" is fading as random acts and disasters occur in both small and large communities. Support systems remain primarily focused on short-term needs, and VOICES 13 years of experience in working with victims, responders and survivors, as well as our research, indicate a need for consistent long-term support following each occurrence. Communities that wish to implement a long-term model are unclear as to how. This is the gap we are addressing.
Through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, VOICES launched its Center of Excellence for Community Resilience in 2014. The work of VOICES Center of Excellence focuses on three primary areas: research, curriculum building/education and consulting advice and counsel.
The Center works collaboratively with our public and private partners to share lessons learned and best practices in preparing for and responding to traumatic events. Our initiatives include:
|•||Preparing for After, an online resource kit based on interviews conducted with service providers who responded to 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the shootings at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and in Tucson, Arizona.|
|•||Research projects assessing mental health issues, bereavement, post-traumatic growth and PTSD.|
|•||Curriculum development, training, workshops, and academic conferences.|