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Collaborative training in racial trauma for ASAP and SHCS clinicians to support campus healing

Our grant proposal involves obtaining formalized training for Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) and Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) clinical staff on both the Davis and UC Davis Health campuses in trauma-informed care specifically geared towards individuals who have experienced racial trauma.


The COVID pandemic and the pandemic of racism have brought into sharp focus the need for additional trauma-informed resources to serve our campus community. There has been increased racial tension, growing numbers of hate crimes and more frequent instances of violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals across the nation in recent years. According to the FBI, hate crimes in the U.S. reached the highest level in over a decade late last year (Department of Justice). These disturbing trends have also been observed within our campus community. ASAP and SHCS clinicians have seen an increasing number of employees and students struggling with the impact of racial trauma and systemic racism over the past couple of years. It is our hope that by gaining additional training in racial trauma, we can move beyond the basics of trauma-informed care to include interventions and programming to address more specifically and explicitly the wounds resulting from racial trauma.


The goals of this training are to increase our ASAP and SHCS clinicians’ insight and understanding into how racial trauma impacts BIPOC community members, use this understanding to inform program development and the establishment of safe spaces for our campus constituents, and ultimately to reduce/mitigate the negative impact of racial trauma on our BIPOC staff, faculty, and students. In a larger sense, it is our hope that this training will also provide our clinicians the clarity and direction to collaborate effectively with our campus and community colleagues to support a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.

While we expect this training to be important and valuable, measuring its impact poses a number of challenges. Each of us will be starting at a different place in terms of our understanding of the topic at hand, so measuring “progress” or “learning” will have to be relative to each individual participant.

Our current plan is to measure participation rates, i.e., how many staff actually take part in the training offered? We will also follow up with clinicians who took part in the training at 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after training to see if they are using the model in their work (Y/N), ask for a self-report of frequency of use and some examples of how they have incorporated the training into their subsequent clinical work.

Opportunities for Involvement:

No opportunities available at this time.

Recent Milestones:

We have identified an expert from the community, Dr. Kristee Haggins (, who has agreed to conduct the training for our group. The training will take place over 3-4 sessions (a few weeks apart) to build trust and group cohesion.

We are currently working with the three groups and Dr. Haggins to set forth a training schedule. Our current plan is to begin this training in the fall of 2021.

Project Leads:

Carol Kirshnit
Program Director, Psychologist
Academic & Staff Assistance Program/HR at UC Davis Health

Rob Starkey
Program Director, Psychologist
Academic & Staff Assistance Program/HR at UC Davis

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