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Our Impact

"TOTAL IMPACT, 2,900 Clinicians Trained, 32,000 PTSD Treatment Sessions Delivered, 40,000 Hours of Professional Development" text on the rest of the image reads "IMPROVING ACCESS: The STRONG STAR Training Initiative, established in 2017, remains dedicated to improving access to evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, and related mental health conditions. Our primary objective is to strengthen the mental health workforce by providing comprehensive training and support to clinicians ensuring that those in need can access high-quality behavioral healthcare in their communities. We train clinicians, mental health allies, and community members who all play essential roles in this mission - from identifying those at risk to delivering effective treatments. We express our sincere gratitude to our funders including the Bob Woodruff Foundation, USAA, and USAA Foundation for their invaluable support increasing access to EBTs for veterans in the community. Thanks to funding from the Gavin Farrell Foundation, we achieved a noteworthy milestone of expanding our reach to train clinicians treating civilians with PTSD. We are honored to serve as Scientific Advisors to the USAA-founded Face the Fight Initiative. With funding from North Carolina Child Advocacy Centers, we were also able to provide PTSD EBT training to clinicians serving adolescents and caregivers. These collaborations have allowed us to broaden our efforts to reduce barriers and ensure individuals can access effective mental health care when and where they need it. This year, our team delivered trainings to providers in Jordan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Israel, furthering our mission of amplifying access to quality care worldwide. As we celebrate the accomplishments of 2023, we acknowledge the unwavering support of our funders, collaborators, and dedicated professionals. Looking ahead, we remain steadfast in our commitment to a future where EBTs are accessible to all, leaving no one behind in their journey towards better mental health. Support our work today by making a donation at makelivesbetter.uthscsa.edu/ssti" to the right of the text is an image of a veteran speaking to a person taking notes on a clipboard.
"2,900 Clinicians trained in our Learning Communities: Through our national training program, over 2,900 clinicians received training in EBTs for PTSD and suicide risk prevention. Our Learning Community training model incorporates key elements to maximize success, including post-workshop expert consultation, implementation support, and access to our provider portal, an online suite of resources including therapy demonstration videos, webinars, and treatment materials in Spanish and other languages. This year marked the introduction of Written Exposure Therapy for PTSD to our Learning Communities. Alongside this valuable addition, we continued our established Learning Communities in Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD. Our commitment to providing a range of EBT options aligns with research suggesting that client choice plays a significant role in improving treatment adherence and client outcomes. Recognizing the critical need for suicide prevention, we conducted Learning Communities in Crisis Response Planning and Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Suicide Prevention. By addressing this pressing concern, we strive to equip clinicians with the necessary skills to save lives. At the core of our initiative is the principle of listening to and responding to the needs of our network of clinicians. In direct response to their valuable input, we organized workshops on advanced topics such as Socratic questioning and Motivational Interviewing. Additionally, we included a group Cognitive Processing Therapy workshop, consultation in Spanish and culturally informed delivery of EBTs for PTSD, promoting inclusive practices. To reinforce clinical skills, we added all-new Skills Labs, giving providers the opportunity to practice key PTSD assessment and treatment planning skills. These hands-on groups offered a supportive environment for providers to receive valuable feedback and refine their techniques." To the side of main text reads, "2023 by the Numbers: 925 Clinicians Trained, 274 Clinicians achieved Network Provider Status, 46 States Now Reached, Over 1100 Hours of Consultation."
"32,000 Sessions of Evidence-Based PTSD Treatment Delivered: We are proud of our national reach of PTSD treatment. Clinicians are taught to assess for PTSD, depression, suicide risk, and other related conditions using standardized measures. Through the assessment process, clinicians discuss findings and a range of treatment options with clients. This collaborative approach ensures that clients are well-informed and actively participate in determining their treatment path. Clients treated by clinicians trained in our Learning Communities have significantly reduced PTSD and depression symptoms. When PTSD is treated with EBTs, individuals see functional improvements in social and occupational health. People who show these improvements typically stay better and with gains maintained for 5-10+ years. These positive outcomes demonstrate the transformative power of EBTs in improving the mental well-being of individuals experiencing PTSD." Text on the side reads, "2023 by the numbers: 1,332 New clients receiving an EBT for PTSD, 8,460 EBT for PTSD treatment sessions." Bottom section reads, "CLIENT DEMOGRAPHICS: 26% Hispanic/Latino, 19% Black, 69% Female, 7% Adolescents aged 14-17, 19% Veteran, Active Duty, National Guard/Reservist, 21% Military Family Member."
"40,000 Hours of Professional Development: The STRONG STAR Training Initiative leverages subject matter expertise to develop and deliver PTSD and suicide prevention and intervention training to mental health and allied health professionals, students, and care navigators. Our organization strives for inclusivity, responsiveness, and excellence in disseminating evidence-based information on effective interventions for PTSD and related disorders to diverse provider professionals. As part of our commitment to professional development, we are approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education credits for our trainings. If you are interested in partnering with us for continuing education, please contact admin@strongstartraining.com Care navigators help support access to EBTs and include clinicians, case managers, allied health providers, and peer support specialists, among others. Our Care Navigator Training aims to build awareness through training on trauma and PTSD, screening and assessment tools, and EBTs for PTSD. Our 2023 Webinar Series featured STRONG STAR Training Initiative faculty as well as invited national experts covering advanced topics for clinicians implementing EBTs with a variety of populations including: Latinx, Muslim, and transgender and non-binary individuals, as well as communities experiencing gun violence." Bottom reads "486 Care Navigators Trained" under icons of people. "2,332 Webinar Series Attendees" under icon of a laptop with a person speaking on it, and "10,644 Continuing Education Credits Awarded" under icon of clock with graduation cap on it.
"#FACE THE FIGHT: In 2023, Face the Fight (www.wefacethefight.org), founded by USAA, launched with the aspirational goal of cutting the veteran suicide rate in half by 2030. Our team has been working with USAA since 2021 to inform the philanthropic strategy and approach of this vital new initiative. Dr. Katy Dondanville (Chief Scientific Advisor), Dr. David Rozek (Senior Scientific Advisor), Ms. Brooke Fina (Face the Fight Technical Assistance Team Manager) and our team have been honored to support this social impact initiative as an academic partner, leveraging expertise as subject matter experts in scientific strategy, implementation and training, and impact evaluation to make a lasting impact on military and veteran communities. We are also leading the Face the Fight Scientific Advisory Committee with over 30 experts providing continuous input to inform Face the Fight's strategic approach. Leveraging our expertise in implementing and scaling interventions, we provided technical assistance to 14 organizations who received funding through Face the Fight. Our assistance helped with scaling multiple suicide prevention programs, enhancing veteran access to these interventions, and expanding suicide risk screening. We serve as a training center for evidence-informed suicide prevention interventions, providing training and support to clinical and community veteran-serving organizations. We initiated monthly no-cost Crisis Response Planning training for anyone supporting veterans, including clinicians, volunteers, peers, and allies. Over 200 individuals received training this year, expanding the reach of this life-saving suicide management tool. Face the Fight employs an innovative strategy—a non-siloed, science-backed, and comprehensive approach—to address the issue of veteran suicide. The initiative combines a public health campaign, coalition of cross-sector collaborators, and grantmaking to identify, implement, and scale suicide prevention and intervention strategies. We look forward to continuing our support of this critical mission of reducing veteran suicide." Icon of 3-way venn diagram between "campaign, coalition, grantmaking."
"Trainings for Mental Health Clinicians in Areas of Conflict and Crisis: In conflict zones, access to mental health services is limited, leaving individuals in need of support. This year, the STRONG STAR Training Initiative supported training mental health providers in areas of conflict and crisis. Dr. Katy Dondanville is collaborating with partners Dr. Jonathan Huppert at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Danny Derby, and the Israeli Ministry of Health to address the need for training in EBTs for PTSD among clinicians in Israel's public sector. Starting in November, our team launched a weekly training series bringing together world-renowned experts to provide pragmatic skills and support to hundreds of clinicians with translation services in Hebrew and Arabic. In October, the STRONG STAR Training Initiative team partnered with Dr. Israel Liberzon to facilitate a 4-day virtual workshop in Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD among Ukrainian clinicians. Our team provided expert guidance empowering Ukrainian mental health professionals with essential skills to effectively address PTSD within their communities. Dina Abdelrahman and the Syrian American Medical Society played a crucial role in identifying a critical issue: the lack of training for clinicians in Jordan and Turkey to effectively treat PTSD. To address this, Dr. John Moring initiated a collaborative effort with Dr. Ceren Acartürk from Koc University in Istanbul. Together, they spearheaded training sessions in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD. This initiative focused on providing support to earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syrian refugees in Jordan." images on the right-hand side depicting (1) dome of the rock, jerusalem, israel (2) a person stands in the rubble of a destroyed building (3) two individuals in hijabs and a child sitting on the beach
Research: At STRONG STAR Training Initiative, our research is committed to enhancing the landscape of mental health care through three key areas: (1) Improving the effectiveness of treatment methods (2) Increasing access to these effective treatments (3) Developing and refining efficient and impactful training techniques for our dedicated mental health clinicians. from left to right: Telehealth 2.0: Our research team is seeking participants for a paid, National Institute of Mental Health-funded clinical study with Stanford University and Talkspace about online, messaging-based treatment for PTSD. We are comparing messaging-based Cognitive Processing Therapy and Culturally Informed Trauma Treatment. Those who qualify will receive 13 weeks of free online treatment through the study. Their participation could also help us improve digital mental healthcare and make interventions for trauma more accessible. How to refer individuals to the study: Those who are interested can email the study team at texting_study@stanford.edu and request the screening link for the study so that they can see if they are eligible to participate. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Nightmares Dr. Kristi Pruiksma is leading a Department of Defense-funded study to develop a web-based provider training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Nightmares. Clinicians trained by the STRONG STAR Training Initiative have participated in alpha and beta testing to inform the development of the training platform. In 2024, they are recruiting clinicians comparing the self-paced web-based training to a live, virtual training To learn more about the study, contact price@uthscsa.edu and request an information sheet. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Nightmares: Dr. Kristi Pruiksma is leading a Department of Defense-funded study to develop a web-based provider training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Nightmares. Clinicians trained by the STRONG STAR Training Initiative have participated in alpha and beta testing to inform the development of the training platform. In 2024, they are recruiting clinicians comparing the self-paced web-based training to a live, virtual training To learn more about the study, contact price@uthscsa.edu and request an information sheet. Using Early Response to Guide Treatment: Dr. Stefanie LoSavio is conducting a research study addressing how to change the treatment course based on early response or non-response to frontline PTSD treatments Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure. This line of study will help understand if early responders can step-down to self-managed care and what change in course works best for non-responders. To learn more about the study contact Losavio@uthscsa.edu.
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