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Organization brings lived experience to SAMHSA grant

March 29, 2011
by News release
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Nashville, Tenn. — EPower & Associates, Inc. has been named the sole source provider for the acclaimed trauma-informed response program, Risking Connection, to King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services. King County is the recipient of a five-year SAMHSA Transformation to Trauma-Informed Care grant, implementing trauma-informed responses in all areas of the organization.

Agencies involved in the grant to King County serve those with or at risk for mental illness, including veterans of the U.S. military and their families, through community-based mental health agencies and peer support. EPower & Associates is also providing program development and consultation services in the area of peer support group program development and agency-based consultation to King County.

Risking Connection is a trauma-informed operating model created with the voice of lived experience. "Lived experience" refers to firsthand, personal experience with mental health care. Elizabeth Power, M.Ed., CEO of EPower & Associates, Inc., brings lived experience with trauma and over 20 years as a professional consultant in adult learning and organizational change to Risking Connection®. Evidence continues to mount of the model's ability to reduce the time, trauma and costs of healing for all involved. User feedback is consistently positive.

Elizabeth Power, CEO, says that "Risking Connection helps people learn how to respond in ways that foster compassion, growth, and mental health recovery. Everyone has experienced some form of traumatic event, and everyone responds differently. When people operate through the Risking Connection frame of reference, survivors are less likely to become long-term victims while others are more likely to be helpful." Power has also delivered Risking Connection® to Primary Care Providers in low-income settings, as well as to youth-serving agencies, educators and community organizations.

EPower & Associates, Inc. is one of only two organizations authorized by Sidran Institute to offer Risking Connection, with clients nationwide. The firm's work in helping organizations identify, implement or replicate trauma-informed responses includes organizational assessment, change management planning, creating replication materials and evidence-informed adult learning services.

Clients include the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Hillside Family of Agencies, the National Center for PTSD and Sidran Institute.