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Walla Walla: Collective Action and Data Drive Trauma-Informed Change

  • Aug 25, 2016

By: Larke N. Huang, Ph.D., Director, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity; Rebecca Flatow, Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation; Mary Blake, SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services

Six cities were invited to SAMHSA for a listening session to present their innovative approaches to addressing trauma.  This blog is part of a series that highlights community approaches in selected implementation domains and how each city is working to create safer and healthier places to live, learn, work and play.


Just knowing that a problem exists – or even being aware of potential solutions – is rarely enough to mobilize a community for action.  In Walla Walla, Washington, the has had surprising success in generating community-wide change. They have done this by highlighting the power of collective action and by continually measuring progress towards project goals.  The Walla Walla experience demonstrates the value of citizen engagement and evaluation – two of the implementation domains featured in SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach.

The Children’s Resilience Initiative (CRI) is an intensive, structured collaboration with more than 30 community partners, including schools, city government, health and social services, law enforcement, justice, business leaders, the media and parents.  They have two main goals – to increase public awareness about the impact of adverse childhood experiences, and to build resilience in the community.

Read the full story here: http://blog.samhsa.gov/2016/08/25/walla-walla-collective-action-and-data-drive-trauma-informed-change/