Jennifer Sigrest was the former Evaluation Coordinator for the Trauma Recovery for Youth Project with Catholic Charities in Jackson, MS. She is now co-owner of Wilson-Sigrest, LLC and specializes in working with adolescents and adults dealing with issues of traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, LGBT-related concerns, and other life stressors. She provides consultation and collaboration with organizations working to implement and sustain best practices or to change and improve existing systems. She remains involved with NCTSN through the affiliate program and has a special interest in working with the LGBT population.
Catholic Charities, Inc., Trauma Recovery for Youth (TRY)
Trauma Recovery for Youth (TRY) was established by Catholic Charities and a constellation of Mississippi state government and nonprofit organizations to serve a wide range of primarily rural and geographically isolated child trauma survivors. Based on the lessons learned through participation in a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Learning Collaborative in its first funding period, TRY implemented a Gulf Coast TF-CBT Learning Collaborative to build capacity in agencies to treat children and families affected by trauma after the region's devastation from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
In the current funding period, TRY is developing a statewide trauma-informed system of care to meet the needs of children and families throughout Mississippi. Evidence-based practices are disseminated to public mental health clinicians via the Learning Collaborative model, with an emphasis on systems serving those least likely to have access to quality mental health care. TRY is collaborating with NCTSN experts to provide at least four TF-CBT Learning Collaboratives, three Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) Learning Collaboratives, and three Learning Collaboratives on the treatment of physically abused children. TRY is also working on providing an assessment protocol, training, and consultation to at least 200 clinicians in Mississippi, and on establishing a training unit within Catholic Charities to ensure that further dissemination of these interventions is a part of Mississippi's continuum of care.
Trauma Informed Disaster and Evidence-Based Services (TIDES) will develop proficiency in evidence-based trauma practices and will treat Katrina survivors by centrally organizing staff to be prepared for inevitable hurricanes. The target population is children of military personnel living on the two military bases on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The project will address other therapy needs specific to this population including incorporating Child Parent Conjoint-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPC-CBT) and Trauma Assessment Pathways (TAP) for assessing and addressing already traumatized populations, and Psychological First Aid (PFA) for preparing for future disasters within their site. Clinicians will educate the community on trauma and formally centralize crisis response for future events. TIDES staff will continue training to become trauma-based experts, and will sustain gains made in TF-CBT by continuing to provide therapy to a traumatized region while working with TF-CBT co-developer Esther Deblinger to modify the therapy to include trauma specific to military families. Four TIDES therapists currently trained in TF-CBT will be developed as experts for the region.