Institute for Adolescent Trauma Treatment and Training

The Institute for Adolescent Trauma Treatment and Training is partnering with MercyFirst, one of the largest youth residential programs in New York, to train more than 1,000 social work students and mental health professionals on Long Island and parts of New York City in evidence-based trauma interventions. This skilled workforce will then deliver treatment to more than 4,000 adolescents.

The institute was made possible thanks to a $1.6 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a federal agency that aims to promote research and provide mental health services to people and communities most in need. According to Peter Chernack, D.S.W., associate dean of the School of Social Work, “This prestigious grant strengthens the School’s capacity to prepare graduates for trauma-informed practice and will contribute meaningfully to building the region’s mental health workforce in this critical area of practice.”

The School of Social Work brought in Mandy Habib, Psy.D., and Victor Labruna, Ph.D., to serve as directors of the institute. Both have extensive experience in studying and treating adolescent trauma and are two of the co-authors of Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS). They say that many professionals lack the knowledge of how to identify and treat adolescents who have been traumatized.

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