The Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention (CBVIP) Program, funded by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, provides comprehensive prevention, mental health treatment, and case managements services to middle school youth and their families at greater risk for exposure to community violence. Specifically The program offers both evidence-based and trauma informed interventions to middle school students residing in the Gage Park, Lower West Side (Pilsen) and South Lawndale (Little Village) Chicago Community Areas. CB-VIP’s Youth Development Component incorporates the classroom-based Life Skills Training curriculum which focuses on reducing teenage drug, alcohol, and tobacco use as well as decreasing violence and other risky behaviors.
The Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) Counseling Component helps identifies children who have been exposed to violence and show symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Once identified, children receive individual cognitive behavioral therapy as well as age-appropriate group therapy involving relaxation training, combating negative thoughts, reducing avoidance, developing a trauma narrative, and building social problem solving skills. The program also provides active case management to any student referred for mental health treatment. Lastly, staff members make use of PWC’s Mobile Wellness on Wheels Van to deliver emergency mental health services on the streets of the service area in the event of a shooting at the partner school or in a public venue. Overall, these Wellness Van visits seek to increase positive community interventions around the issue of violence.