Northwestern Medicine

The Urban Resilience Network (TURN) Unveils Research, Training and Services Related to Addressing Violence and Trauma in Bronzeville

Northwestern Memorial Hospital September 22, 2016

Two-thirds of youth worried for safety of friends and family

CHICAGO, IL – Approximately two-thirds of young people in Bronzeville-area schools said they felt worried for the safety of their friends or family members, according to recent data released by The Urban Resilience Network (TURN), formerly the Bronzeville Dream Center. The organization shared research findings related to youth exposure to violence and trauma from 19 schools at an event Tuesday at King College Prep.

Additionally, TURN released a timeline for training of faith leaders to conduct trauma counseling in local communities impacted by violence. The training is based on an Israeli model that’s used for treating Israeli citizens who experience post-traumatic stress disorder related to terror and war in the region.

“Given the levels of violence and trauma in our communities, my question has been ‘Who’s counseling the victims and their families, our community members and even the perpetrators?’” said Pastor Chris Harris, founder of TURN.  “We need counseling, we need healing and we need to change course.”

Leaders from Bright Star Community Outreach, Northwestern Medicine, University of Chicago Medicine and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago joined community members in learning more about the risk and protective factors facing 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders in Bronzeville-area schools.

As part of its work to bring data-informed programming and resources to youth and adults in Bronzeville, TURN conducted a survey in 19 local schools regarding young people’s attitudes and behaviors related to both violence and opportunities for positive engagement in the community.

With 1,538 students completing the survey (72 percent of eligible students), results included:

  • Students reported fewer opportunities for positive involvement in the community than in school and lower levels of community recognition for positive involvement than in school
  • Students reported high rates of fear and stress, symptoms of depression, alcohol and marijuana use and aggressive behavior
  • 64 percent of youth said they felt worried for the safety of their friends
  • 67 percent of youth said they felt worried for the safety of family members
  • 35 percent of youth reported clinical level symptoms of depression
  • 16 percent of 6th graders and 63 percent of 8th graders reported drinking alcohol
  • 8 percent of 6th graders and 58 percent of 8th graders reported using marijuana
  • 23 percent of students reported having attacked someone with the intention to harm

“Our research shows the very real and adverse impact of being exposed to high levels of violence—experiencing it and witnessing it—has on young people.  Successfully navigating their futures requires very intentional and culturally appropriate mental health support as well as human service programming,” said C. Hendricks Brown, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, part of Northwestern Medicine, a partner in TURN.

The data will be used to further identify programs and services needed in the community, particularly mentoring and workforce development, and to inform trauma counseling that will be provided by faith leaders based on an Israeli model, a key component of TURN’s work, beginning in early 2017.

About TURN
The Urban Resilience Network (TURN) was until recently called the Bronzeville Dream Center.  TURN, inspired by NATAL in Israel, is dedicated to serving Chicago with trauma-informed counseling and other social services aimed at minimizing negative factors that cause violence while increasing protective influences that yield positive outcomes.  TURN focuses on four core competencies: counseling, mentorship, parenting and workforce development.  TURN is led by Bright Star Community Outreach and supported by Northwestern Medicine, University of Chicago Hospitals and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

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Northwestern Memorial Hospital 312.926.0755