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Frequency of Student Proximity to Adverse Incidents: Incidence, Impact, and Intervention

Providing prompt trauma support to Milwaukee Public School System students exposed to potentially traumatic events

Full Project Name:Frequency of Student Proximity to Adverse Incidents: Incidence, Impact and InterventionPrimary Community Organization:Milwaukee Fire DepartmentPrimary Academic Partner:David Cipriano, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineAward Amount:$92,576
Award Date
July2022
Project Duration:18 months

Project Description Narrative:


There are more than 70,000 students enrolled in the Milwaukee Public School System (MPS). Each day, potentially traumatic events happen in their communities that can affect their mental health now and in the future. MPS has sufficient resources to support its students' trauma needs, and the Milwaukee Fire Department's emergency response services and law enforcement have capabilities to identify households that these events might impact. However, there is no current system to inform school personnel of these events and proactively deliver appropriate and timely support services to students.

This study aims to develop an epidemiological database of children who have been in close proximity to emergency response service events, providing notifications to MPS staff so that students can promptly receive appropriate trauma support when needed. An automated triage system will be created that uses a risk scoring tool to identify factors such as incident type and severity, ensuring specialized services are provided to students who will benefit from them.

Developing a method to provide students with appropriate trauma support quickly may allow short- and long-term benefits to their behavioral and mental health in and out of the classroom.

Community partners: Milwaukee Fire Department, Milwaukee Public Schools Department of Specialized Services

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