The Westmont Resilience Project is based on the Community Resilience Model (CRM) developed by Elaine Miller-Karras and promoted by the Trauma Resource Institute. This is an evidence-based model for treating trauma and has been taught and used successful in a variety of settings around the world.
It uses common language, provides practical and simple solutions and can be taught by non-professionals. However, the language and structure of the training will be changed to fit this community and settings. For instance, presentations maybe as short as 45 minutes in the WRP where the typical CRM presentation is more than 2 hours.
An innovative part of the WRP is the use of trainers from the community or that have lived in similar communities. For instance, WCC is grateful to have Kevin “Twin” Orange, a local community activist and gang intervention worker, as one of our trainers. These trainers bring their life experiences in the community to the trainings and use language and examples that are accessible and effective.
The Westmont Resilience Project will engage community members by using:
1) Peer-led trainings and examples from their community.
2) Language found in the community, not psychological terms or jargon.
3) A straight forward treatment model that offers practical solutions to psychological problems without shaming or stigmatizing.
4) A “train the trainer” model so that community members can ultimately train each other.
5) Community organizations, schools and churches as training sites, so community members will be met where they are.
Although these trainings are specifically designed for treating trauma, they are also meant to be a way of beginning a discussion of general mental health issues that is outside of a clinical setting. The trainers will also be ready to address complex mental health issues that arise and provide referrals to other mental health services.