Photo courtesy of Hopelink
Premera's Social Impact Program recently completed its first year of funding grants at the end of 2017. We've established partnerships with experienced groups whose focus is to support behavioral health solutions and who have shown consistent results in Washington and Alaska. These nonprofits have been celebrated for their leadership and success in helping our neighbors in need.
Over the course of this year, we'll showcase some of that work on Premera Voices. This week, I asked Hopelink's Senior Manager of Engagement & Training Brandi Painter to share her perspective on applying behavioral health treatment to helping clients stabilize their lives.
Hopelink will use Premera's grant for a new program that will help its case managers to better understand trauma-informed care. According to multiple health studies, early-life trauma can have a significant negative impact on adult lives. Adverse Childhood Conditions, or ACEs, include issues like physical or emotional abuse, neglect and witnessing domestic violence.
What is Hopelink?
Painter: Since 1971, Hopelink has been a leader in addressing the needs of individuals living in poverty. Each year, we successfully provide an array of high quality services to approximately 64,000 low-income individuals in King and Snohomish Counties. We also provide access to medical care and other critical transportation assistance.
How are you using the Social Impact Grant?
Painter: Thanks to funding from Premera's Social Impact Program, Hopelink has been able to implement a training and education program on ACEs. This will allow us to fully adopt a trauma-informed approach for our 270 staff members and more than 500 core volunteers. Our goal is not to change what we do, but to strengthen how we do it.
How is homelessness impacted by ACEs?
Painter: Being homeless or struggling with poverty can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming life events. These situations, along with having a past that includes ACEs often presents additional barriers to lifelong stability.
What are you learning?
Painter: The lens we will create through training on ACEs and resiliency will be one of what happened in their life that led them to this place? This fundamental shift in approach removes judgment, lifts barriers, and opens space for empathy and true connection.
By engaging with our clients in a deeper, more authentic way, we hope to build resilience and provide interventions which help alleviate the negative impacts of living in poverty.
Paul Hollie leads Premera's Social Impact Program.