The Charlestown Coalition’s Trauma Response Team was formed in July 2016 through a grant from the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH). The Trauma Response Team initially started as a group of residents who were looking to learn more about trauma, its impact on the community and how they could best serve residents during traumatic situations. Over the past several years, the Trauma Response Team has served as an important part of the Charlestown Coalition by supporting the community and connecting people to treatment concerning issues around loss, community violence and substance use disorders.
After the BACH granted concluded, the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) began funding this initiative and continues to be the backbone for our trauma work in the community.
The group’s main goals are:
- Developing relationships between individuals that represent and work with different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic populations within Charlestown in an effort to address the deep-rooted racism and race-based tension and violence that exists in Charlestown, as well as developing ways to change this pattern among the younger generations.
- Offering an environment where, with the clinical guidance of our two community health center psychologists, group members are able to unload some of the vicarious and personal trauma they’ve experienced, as well as gain basic skills to better deal with these situations and take care of themselves.
- Developing a source of capable community responders to call upon when tragedies occur.
In addition to meeting monthly, the Trauma Response Team has participated in a Stop the Bleed training led by MGH Trauma Surgeon, David King, MD. Dr. King used his army and medical training to develop a highly effective program that teaches members how to correctly apply a tourniquet and apply pressure to open wounds. The Team has also participated in several other trainings, including Mental Health First Aid.