Training Chicago-based African American faith leaders to address trauma due to urban violence

In 2015 NATAL began working with the newly formed The Urban Resiliency Network (TURN) and the Sinai Health System upon being invited to conduct a needs assessment of trauma services in the local Chicago community. Just like in Israel, as in the inner city of Chicago, virtually every adult and child is at risk for the potentially devastating impact of psychological trauma. In Israel, the trauma is a result of terror and war. In Chicago, the trauma is a result of urban violence. 

Following, and as a result of NATAL’s analysis, NATAL traveled to Chicago in the fall of 2016 to complete the second phase of its work with TURN by building the necessary infrastructure for TURN’s Helpline, as well as a 5-week intensive training for African American faith leaders to provide pre-clinical trauma intervention to community members in need.

The major objectives of this training were to equip TURN’s Pastors with the tools, knowledge, attitudes, skills and expertise to provide trauma informed interventions within their community and to serve as a pillar of community resilience. 

Over 2017 NATAL will continue to train and support TURN as they lay the foundation and launch their Helpline. TURN (formerly the Bronzeville Dream Center) was launched by Pastor Chris Harris in 2014 in partnership with the University of Chicago Medicine, Northwestern University Medicine, United Way, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. TURN is dedicated to serving Chicago with counseling and other social services aimed at minimizing negative factors that cause violence while increasing positive influences that yield positive outcomes. 

Click here to read more about NATAL’s work from the Chicago Tribune.