About the NTC
Our Purpose and Values
Our purpose in creating the NTC is to raise public awareness about the
prevalence of trauma and its wide-ranging impact on people’s lives.
Our activities help to develop and expand the capacity of communities
to provide effective, integrated, trauma-informed, and trauma-specific
We are committed to maintaining a focus on the centrality of trauma in
human services. We recognize that people are best served through integrated
approaches to multiple vulnerabilities and that people with the lived
experience of trauma need to be full partners in all endeavors.
We have three primary goals:
- To strengthen the interaction of research and practice by developing,
evaluating, and refining new and existing service models;
- To increase the impact of our growing knowledge through activities
in the public arena, including advocacy, public policy, and public education
and awareness; and
- To enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to plan,
implement, and oversee effective service approaches by offering high
quality training and technical assistance, including leadership development.
To this end, we
- Provide information about recovery and healing, and about emerging
best practices in trauma services;
- Provide consultation, training and assistance in the development
and evaluation of a wide variety of trauma programs and policies.
- Form partnerships and collaborations with individuals, agencies, and
organizations interested in supporting this work.
Members of the NTC work in diverse communities with respect to race, ethnicity,
language, and geographic setting. Primary areas of expertise include developing
integrated and trauma-informed systems of care with an appropriate blend
of service interventions, integrating people with the lived experience
of trauma in all aspects of service planning and delivery, and program
Our Board of Directors
The NTC Board of Directors includes 14 individuals who were involved with
SAMHSA’s Women, Co-occurring Disorders and Violence Study or its
Children’s Subset Study either as Principal Investigators or as
individuals with lived experiences of interpersonal trauma. While the
majority of the founding board members continue to be involved in agencies
or academic institutions that also participated in the WCDVS, their ongoing
board participation is as individuals rather than as agency or institution
representatives. New appointments to the Board will be nominated by the
Board and will require at least ¾ of votes of all Directors.
The work of the NTC is accomplished through committee participation. The
Board may create and empower committees as necessary. All members of the
Board of Directors actively participate on NTC committees. Committees
also include the participation, whenever possible, of individuals who
are not currently serving as NTC Board members, as determined by consensus
of the committee members.
M. Cadiz, EdD, is currently Director of the Clinical Consultation
Program for the New York City Administration for Children's Services;
a program assisting child welfare staff in the areas of substance abuse,
mental health and domestic violence. A national speaker and an outspoken
advocate, Dr. Cadiz conducts seminars that actively support women's wellness
and healing and heads an expert consultation group specializing in implementing
women's services within communities, organizations and diverse care settings.
Blanch, PhD, is the Director of the NTC, coordinating and overseeing
national activities of the consortium. A former state mental health commissioner,
she is known widely for her efforts to improve the public behavioral health
system in the areas of consumer empowerment, women’s mental health,
and trauma. She was founding director of the Collaborative for Conflict
Management in Mental Health located at USF and works internationally on
issues related to women, conflict and violence, and religion and spirituality.
Colleen Clark, PhD, is Research Assistant Professor
in the Department of Mental Health, Law and Policy at the Louis de la
Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. She
directs national collaborative mental health services research projects
on homelessness prevention, women and violence, and homeless families.
She is coordinator of the Florida Task Force on Trauma Services, a licensed
clinical psychologist with a private practice, and a long time member
of the Tampa Bay Association of Women Psychotherapists.
Hortensia Amaro, PhD, is Distinguished Professor
at the Bouve College of Health Sciences and Director of the Institute
on Urban Health Research at Northeastern University. Her research and
extensive publications have focused on substance use among adolescent
girls, drug abuse treatment for Latina and African American women, HIV/AIDS
prevention, mental health treatment for women and racial/ethnic health
disparities. She has been principal investigator of 30 public health research
grants, including the Boston site for the women and violence project
Jacki McKinney, MSW, is a nationally recognized
consumer advocate for people with mental health and trauma histories from
diverse backgrounds. She played a leadership role in integrating people
with lived experience of trauma in the women and violence project, directs
the Trauma Knowledge Utilization Project, is on the Board of the Bazelon
Center, and is widely sought as an educational and inspiring trauma-informed
speaker. A survivor of both trauma and the psychiatric system, she was
the first African-American woman to receive the NMHA’s Clifford
Heckman, PhD, is Senior Research Associate for ETR Associates.
She joined ETR in 1997 as principal investigator for evaluations of two
federally-funded substance abuse treatment programs for women in San Joaquin
County, CA, and served as principal investigator for the local women and
violence project. Her commitment to NTC’s work stems from appreciation
of the complex interrelationships between mental health, substance abuse,
and trauma and the importance of healing the underlying pain of interpersonal
violence to move forward in recovery.
Lisa Russell, PhD, is Associate Director of Research
at ETR Associates, where she focuses on child maltreatment, mental disorders,
and substance use. Her book Child Maltreatment and Psychological Distress
among Urban Homeless Youth explores the relationship between traumatic
stressors and indicators of psychological distress. She has served as
co-principal investigator on a number of state and federally funded projects,
including the childrens subset study for the Allies women and violence
project and an evaluation of the OJJDP funded Safe Start Initiative in
Nancy VanDeMark, MSW, is the Director of Colorado
Social Research Associates, a division of Arapahoe House, Inc in Denver,
Colorado. She was the founding manager of the nationally recognized New
Directions for Families program, a residential treatment program for women
affected by substance abuse, mental illness and trauma and their children
and has worked on many statewide task forces aimed at improving services
and funding for women and families affected by substance abuse and violence.
Finkelstein, PhD, is founder and Executive Director of the Institute
for Health and Recovery, a statewide policy, training, services and research
organization located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work has focused
on substance abuse prevention and treatment; pregnancy and substance use/abuse;
integrated care for women with co-occurring disorders and histories of
violence; trauma informed services; tobacco education and cessation; and
family centered care. She has over 30 professional publications
Bjelajac is a Consumer Specialist for PROTOTYPES Systems Change
Center in California. She is a trauma survivor, a recovering addict, and
is in treatment for a mental illness (depression and PTSD). She was a
co-facilitator and trainer in the local woman and violence project, and
is a graduate of the UCLA Certificate program in Dual Disorders and a
member of the DMH Dual Disorders Staff Development Committee. Paula presents
regularly on consumer/survivor/recovery issues to a wide variety of audiences
and has a number of publications pending.
Andersen, MEd, directed the 1994 CMHS conference Dare to Vision
and was the principal investigator of the Franklin County Women’s
Research Project, a consumer-driven women and violence project founded
by survivors of abuse. She is currently principal investigator for the
CSAT-funded RECOVER Project, a peer-to-peer community based addiction
recovery program. Her work is grounded in the community, centered on the
resiliency of the individual, and borne out of her personal experience
with recovery from abuse and addiction.
Roger D. Fallot, PhD, is a clinical psychologist
and Co-Director of Community Connections, a private not-for-profit agency
providing a full range of human services in metropolitan Washington, D.C.
He has special interests in the development of trauma-informed service
systems and the place of spirituality in recovery. In addition, he and
others at Community Connections have developed a men’s version of
the Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM), a manualized group intervention
for working with survivors of physical and sexual abuse.
Ruta Mazelis, BS, is editor of The Cutting Edge:
A Newsletter for People Living with Self-Inflicted Violence, an international
quarterly on the topic of self-injury founded in 1990, and is on the staff
at the Sidran Institute. A survivor of violence, she also has experience
in providing inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance abuse
counseling. She serves as a consultant to various projects at local and
federal levels as well as publishing and speaking on a wide range of topics
related to trauma and recovery.
Vivian B. Brown, PhD, is founder and CEO of PROTOTYPES,
a multi-service agency in California and Washington, D.C. She has more
than 30 years experience developing community health and mental health
programs; residential, day treatment and outpatient drug abuse services;
HIV/AIDS outreach, prevention and interventions; specialized services
for women, children and families; co-occurring disorders interventions;
trauma and domestic violence prevention and intervention. She is a member
of numerous federal, state, and local advisory committees.
The devastating impact of violence and trauma has long been recognized.
In the 1970’s, public awareness about violence against women led
to significant efforts in primary prevention and early intervention. However,
many of these efforts bypassed women with severe mental illness and substance
abuse problems. In the 1990’s, informed in part by work on post-traumatic
stress disorder in Vietnam veterans, recognition grew that many people
with severe mental health and substance abuse problems also had histories
of physical and sexual abuse, and that treatment and support could potentially
be effective in reducing symptoms, improving quality of life, and interrupting
the intergenerational cycle of abuse.
In 1994, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
(SAMHSA) held a landmark conference, Dare to Vision. This conference brought
together over 350 consumer/survivors, practitioners and policymakers to
share and discuss problems and potential solutions. Critical themes included
the need for services integration, the damaging impact of some practices
(especially seclusion and restraint), and the critical importance of consumer/survivor
leadership. Dare to Vision created a national momentum on trauma and violence.
As attention to this issue grew, the scope of the problem began to be
evident. It is now clear that a majority of people served in the public
behavioral health and social service systems have experienced trauma at
one time or another in their lives.
In 1998, SAMHSA funded the Women, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Violence
Study (WCDVS), a five-year national project to examine the effectiveness
of services for women trauma survivors with mental health and substance
abuse problems. During the first two years of the program, fourteen organizations
located in ten states developed and documented integrated service models
and agreed upon site-specific and cross-site research protocols. A separate
study focusing on the children in these families was also developed.
During the final three years of the study, nine sites across the country
developed, implemented, and evaluated trauma-informed and integrated services.
All programs involved persons with lived experiences of trauma and recovery
as full partners in project activities. Taken as a whole, the sites represented
diverse communities with respect to race, ethnicity, language, and geographic
settings. Founded in 2003 by a group of individuals who had played key
roles in this study, the National Trauma Consortium was established with
the vision of improving the lives of trauma survivors and their families.
A Note on Language
During the duration of the WCDVS, to emphasize the integration of trauma
into the provision of services for women with co-occurring substance abuse
and mental health diagnoses, women with such experiences were referred
to as “C/S/R’s.” In this acronym, the “C”
represented being a current or former consumer of mental health services,
the “S” represented being a survivor of physical and/or sexual
violence, and the “R” represented recovery from substance
abuse. The NTC acknowledges that not all survivors of trauma receive diagnostic
labels, abuse substances, or seek out substance abuse, mental health and/or
trauma treatment. In dedication to the idea of inclusivity and integration,
the NTC has decided to adopt the language of “persons with lived
experience of trauma” to replace the acronym of C/S/R.