Southern Regional AHEC logoThe North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has awarded $89,020 in a safety grant to Southern Regional Area Health Education Center (SR-AHEC) to fund a year-long, strength-based resiliency training series, “Communities Fostering Resiliency in Youth,” for teachers and staff in the Cumberland County Schools and local community organizations.

“The intention is to strengthen our collective ability to meet the needs of students and their families,” said La-Lisa Hewett Robinson, SR-AHEC Administrator for Mental Health Continuing Education, following announcement of the grant award. “This comprehensive, blended-learning training project uses current best practices and informed evidence by using the Reaching Teens curriculum—rooted in three evidence-based frameworks: positive youth development, resilience, and trauma-informed care.”

The model is a result of the work of Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, along with a team of multidisciplinary professionals with decades of experience and ongoing research regarding youth. Stakeholder recruitment includes representatives from SR-AHEC, Cumberland County Schools, and Alliance MCO, behavioral health professionals, hospitals, departments of social services, law enforcement, juvenile justice, youth care settings, and other community agencies. Leaders from the community and targeted organizations will be actively engaged to promote the value of developing a trauma-informed workforce to support resiliency strategies for youth and their families, according to Hewett-Robinson.

Cumberland County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Marvin Connelly Jr. said the school system is delighted to work in partnership with SR-AHEC and Alliance Behavioral Health to implement training supported through school safety grant funds allocated by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  “Our collective efforts will empower staff to support our children and youth through strength-based, resilience-building, and trauma-informed strategies of care.”

Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, the managed care organization for publicly-funded behavioral health care services for the people of Durham, Wake, Cumberland, and Johnston counties, joins SR-AHEC and Cumberland County Schools for this project. “We are honored to join the Cumberland County Schools and SR-AHEC to bring this needed education for the enhancement of our community.  We’re looking forward to making great things happen for the youth and families.”

Southern Regional AHEC serves a unique dual role in health care in the community and the nine counties of south-central North Carolina. SR-AHEC is a health care facility for patients that serves as a training platform for family medicine residents, and an accredited provider of continuing professional development education for health care and behavioral health professionals, keeping them up to date on the latest in best practices.

Cumberland County Schools serves more than 50,000 students in grades K-12.