In 2009, after a young man was killed, a group of people in Champaign, IL gathered and committed themselves to advocating, promoting, & supporting efforts to increase Champaign County's efforts to become a trauma-informed community. This was a part of a System of Care transformation effort called the ACCESS Initiative.
In 2014, Champaign County applied and was accepted into the National Council for Behavioral Health's Trauma Informed Care Learning Collaborative. A broad segment of the community participated in that process. The focus of that work was to increase the availability of trauma specific practices in Champaign County.
The work of the group ebbed and flowed as the System of Care funding and efforts came to an end. It reemerged as a working group as a part of the Champaign County Community Coalition with a renewed focus on community level change and transformation. With grant funding from the Champaign County Mental Health Board the group focused on training neighborhood leaders, CU Neighborhood Champions, about trauma & trauma informed care. This neighbor to neighbor model was designed to increase the community's capacity to 'take care of it's on.' During that first year we trained 35 individuals.
With new funding, came increased interest in our trauma informed efforts and increasing the community's awareness of the impact of trauma and the importance of building community resilience.
In late 2018, the working group decided to expand its efforts around trauma, trauma informed care, and resilience. They formed an executive team and agreed to create a 501c3. The Trauma & Resilience Initiative, Inc. was founded in April of 2019.
The CU Trauma & Resilience Initiative currently receives funding from the Champaign County Mental Health Board and the Champaign County Community Coalition.