Sensitizing Providers to Urban Youth Trauma – University Illinois at Chicago
Developed training content and videos for providers and therapists to improve engagement and communication with trauma-affected, low-income urban youth.

Project Components

In June 2013, MEE was engaged by the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to help train providers and therapists on how to interact with youth affected by trauma. Direct exposure to domestic and/or community violence were both addressed in developing the script for a training video.

We leveraged long-standing relationships with members of MEE’s Chicago Community Network to recruit low-income African American and Latino males and females (ages 18-21) for a series of one-on-one, audio-taped interviews conducted by MEE staff. During the interviews, youth shared personal stories about traumatic experiences linked to gun/gang violence and physical, and mental and/or sexual abuse in their home or community.

The content of the interviews was transcribed and analyzed by members of our research team, using a comprehensive coding process. The coded content was used by our Creative Team to develop two vignette scripts that were used by UIC to build out comprehensive training videos. Those videos will continue to support UIC in its work to develop clinical guidelines for therapists and service providers who work with audiences of underserved youth.

By viewing the videos, therapists and providers are able to witness the realities of how exposure to violence impacts young people and their families. Manifestations may include problems functioning at school or work, troubled relationships and behaviors that lead to being involved with the criminal justice and/or human services systems. MEE’s insights are helping providers effectively communicate with and support low-income youth of color with adverse experiences as a result of repeated exposure to trauma.

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MEE Productions • Academic Partnerships