For over two decades, the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health (NCDVTMH) has been a pioneering and steadfast advocate working in partnership with—and on behalf of—survivors experiencing the intersections of violence, trauma, and systemic oppression.
The Domestic Violence and Mental Health Policy Initiative (DVMHPI)—the precursor to NCDVTMH—was founded in 1999 to address the unmet mental health needs of domestic violence survivors and their families and the traumatic effects of abuse across the lifespan. A Chicago-based initiative, DVMHPI brought crucial attention to these issues by providing training and technical assistance to domestic violence, mental health, substance use, and social service agencies in the Chicago area, as well as city, state, and federal policymakers.
Expanding to serve a national audience, DVMHPI evolved in 2005 into the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. NCDVTMH is the sole federally-funded resource center of its kind, devoted to the intersections of domestic violence and mental health and how the impacts of both exacerbate one another. NCDVTMH has grown to include a robust training division, research and evaluation team, and is a respected voice in national policy. Key initiatives include:
- ACRTI approach: every survivor deserves accessible, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed services, resources, and supports.
- Capacity-building support for ACRTI services and organizations, while advocating for greater funding to make such services available everywhere
- Enshrining culturally responsive, trauma-informed language in anti-violence federal legislation (now standard in the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and Violence Against Women Act)
- Fostering cross-sector collaboration between domestic violence, mental health, and substance use systems, as well as evaluating such collaborations and identifying and addressing gaps.
- Promoting integrated ACRTI and DV-informed approaches to mental health and substance use disorder treatment and recovery support—especially survivor-defined, peer-led, harm reduction.
- Cutting edge research and policy development on mental health and substance use coercion
- Developing and evaluating integrated family-centered models to address the needs of survivors and their families.
- Highlighting culturally-rooted approaches to healing and resistance.
- Reformulating approaches to trauma using a social justice lens, so that service providers center survivors and do not replicate systems of abuse, while also working to transform the conditions that allow for abuse and violence in our world
NCDVTMH works broadly with programs, coalitions, and agencies at the federal, state, territory, and Tribal levels to ensure that every survivor receives accessible, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed care.