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Our Top Five Accomplishments of 2019

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Since 2001, we’ve been working to support solutions that have a positive impact on the health of South Carolinians, especially for the economically vulnerable. Every year, we strive to make a difference in the overall health and wellness of the people in South Carolina and this year we’ve been extremely proud of the work we’ve done in partnership with our grantees. Below are a few of our top accomplishments of the year. 

We’re so grateful to all our partners for working to increase the quality of life for the people of our state – and we’re looking forward to doing so for many years to come. 

So, without further ado, here are our top five accomplishments – in no particular order:

1. Expansion of Children’s Advocacy Centers

The work of children’s advocacy centers is crucial to alleviating the long-term effects of trauma in children who’ve been abused, neglected or witnesses to a crime. Unfortunately, in South Carolina, distance is the largest barrier to receiving services through a center. In 2018, we supported a landscape assessment and development plan for the South Carolina Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Now, through a partnership with the Duke Endowment, we’re supporting implementation of that plan which will ensure the children of our state are within a 30-minute drive of an advocacy center.

2. Launching the South Carolina Community Health Worker Institute

Launching the South Carolina Community Health Worker Institute was a huge accomplishment for our state. We can now provide high quality training and certification to develop and effectively integrate these public health workers who are critically needed in our state. Community health workers play a key role in improving health among South Carolinians and they’re a liaison between health and social services.

3. Leading the Field of Adverse Childhood Experiences Work With the Empower Action Framework 

Adverse childhood experiences can be traumatic for a child well into adulthood. To build resiliency in children who are exposed to adverse experiences, Children’s Trust has developed a first-of-its-kind integrated planning model – the Empower Action Framework. Empower Action, currently being used in three South Carolina communities, connects various stakeholders and processes to use a shared language to create common goals. These community-based action plans will aim to increase children's resiliency to any traumatic experiences they may have. The implementation of this model continues to put South Carolina at the forefront of advanced childhood experiences research and prevention and ultimately improves child, family and community outcomes.

4. Mental Health Prevention and Awareness Trainings

The Foundation recognizes the importance on mental health and how it impacts every other part of health and well-being. That’s why we’re supporting the expansion of two national best practice mental health trainings in South Carolina. 

Ending the Silence connects teens with behavioral health resources and services. It helps teens, school staff and parents/caregivers recognize the signs and symptoms of behavioral health conditions and improves suicide awareness. This connection to resources can lead to early intervention, which is key for successful treatment, recovery and suicide prevention.  

Mental Health First Aid is a course that teaches individuals how to help someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. The training will target police officers, emergency medical system staff and veterans in our state. 

Combined, these trainings will increase awareness and decrease stigma for mental health issues, with the ultimate goals of connecting people to mental health services and decreasing the traumatic effects of mental illness on people and their communities.

5. School-Based Oral Health Collaborative 

We’ve teamed up with the Duke Endowment and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to improve access to dental care for school-aged children, Each year, technical assistance and funding will be provided to 10 organizations seeking to either develop or expand school-based oral health programs in the Carolinas. 

We’re proud of what we have accomplished this year, but we’re prouder of the many organizations we work with and the partnerships we’ve developed to make an impact in our state. We’re looking forward to continuing in our mission for many, many years to come!