Two grants to address trauma in Baltimore
The Baltimore City Health Department has received a $5 million federal grant to help families in West Baltimore deal with the traumatic affects of living with violence. The five-year grant will be used to set up programs in Sandtown-Winchester, Penn North and Upton/Druid Heights that will include mentoring, yoga and other mindfulness activities, youth development and healing circles. The activities will center around trauma-informed care, which takes into accounts the way people’s experiences affect behavior and health. The money was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma program. West Baltimore is one of the most violent areas of the city and was home to Freddie Gray, who died in April 2015 after suffering a spinal injury in police custody, prompting protests and a night of riots. The Baltimore school system will receive a $2.3 million federal grant to help students recover from trauma following the unrest after Gray’s death. The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday that Baltimore was one of three districts — along with St. Louis and Chicago — to receive a federal Promoting Student Resilience grant. The grant was created for districts to start programs for students who have experienced trauma following demonstrations of mass protests or civil unrest, the department said. City school officials said the district will expand its mental health services.