The National Native Children’s Trauma Center based at The University of Montana has received a $2.4 million grant to continue work with Native American youth who experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The grant is a competitive refunding of the center from the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Health Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Though the center is based in the UM College of Education’s Institute for Educational Research and Service, it provides trainings nationwide on mental health service services that are particularly effective in rural settings and schools. The new award will expand these trainings to include Indian Health Services clinicians, tribal health departments, child welfare agencies and reservation schools.

Amy Foster Wolferman with the UM School of Education said the grant will provide training for professionals who serve Native youth through the center’s outreach programs and through partnerships with tribes.

Youth experience trauma through direct abuse but also through the effects of high rates of suicide, substance abuse, loss of loved ones and historical trauma experienced by tribal members. Childhood symptoms of PTSD include preoccupation (experiencing the trauma over and over), numbing (trying to avoid and ignore the stress) and hyperarousal (always being on edge and ready for fight-or-flight).

Amy Foster Wolferman