Ellen Charles and Alielah Lawson of the Lower Elwha Klallam Health Clinic, were among participants in the  2019 Collaborative Learning Academy.

Program aims to strengthen community resiliency

Applications due Aug. 5

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam Resilience Project has launched its 2022-23 Collaborative Learning Academy.

“The program provides concrete knowledge in terms of trauma-sensitive care and information about the neuro sciences,” such as adverse childhood experiences — or ACES, which can heavily influence adult mental health — and resiliency, according to Minnie Whalen, director of the project for United Way of Clallam County.

Funded by Clallam County’s American Rescue Plan Act with $45,000, the nine-month academy will be open to 10 local organizations and will offer a stipend “to promote shared learning and actionable steps around care and wellness across work teams,” Whalen said.

Applications, found at https://forms.gle/eBGbFu JuwgWXhxq57, are due by Aug. 5.

“The application is open to all Clallam County businesses, organizations and agencies that are eager to engage in addressing health disparities, building stronger neighborhoods and communities, and promoting healthy environments,” Whalen said.

“Any agency that helps people is encouraged to apply.”

The program will begin in October, which has been designated Resilience Month in Clallam County, and will consist of a three-hour meeting once a month for nine months, through June.

Each organization will receive $100 per meeting per person to help account for staff time, Whalen said. That means spending $36,000 of the $45,000 received from the county on stipends.

“We want to be able to distribute the money back to our partners who are providing direct services,” Whalen said.

The goal of the Clallam Resilience Project is to foster a resilient Clallam County.

“In the ongoing reconstruction from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all seeking ways to promote healing and become more trauma sensitive, and support a stronger, healthier community,” said Christy Smith, CEO of United Way of Clallam County.

According to Whalen, all who have participated would recommend the program.

Her press release quotes an unidentified participant in the 2019 program as saying: “I will continue to remind my staff to not assume they know why people make the choices they do.

“I will take more time with clients to understand their situation and how I can help them.”

The United Way of Clallam County has worked over the last 60 years “to advance the common good by partnering with local nonprofits whose work focuses on education, financial stability and health, which are the building blocks for a good quality of life,” the release said.

For more information see www.clallamresilienceproject.org, call United Way of Clallam County at 360-457-3011 or email [email protected]

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