Louisville has been awarded a five-year, $5 million federal grant for a project aimed at helping families affected by trauma.

The Trauma Resilient Community Initiative is a partnership between the city, the University of Louisville and Centerstone Kentucky. The goal of the project is to create more efficient services for families affected by violence, trauma and racial inequity.

Funds will be used to train hundreds of health professionals on a special first-aid approach to youth mental health. Officials aim to treat 400 children and their families who’ve experienced trauma in West and South Louisville — areas where youth and families are disproportionately affected by trauma, violence and systemic inequities, according to a news release from the city. 

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the city must remove barriers and create opportunities for people to reach their potential.

“If we have the resources, we can make a difference in a young person’s life,” Fischer said. “This work will align not only with [The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods’] work to prevent violence and help people in communities recover from violence, it also is a perfect alignment with our Office of Resilience and Community Services.”

Mayor Greg Fischer and other officials announce The Trauma Resilient Community Initiative.Kyeland Jackson |

Mayor Greg Fischer and other officials announce The Trauma Resilient Community Initiative.

Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, Director of the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, said the program will address inequity by considering the system as well as individuals.

“Simply trying to arrest our way to a safer city was never going to be a sufficient strategy to reducing violence,” Abdur-Rahman said. “We also need to support and bring resource to bear when community healing is needed. That’s why this project, the Trauma Resilience Community Initiative, is so important.”

The $5 million grant comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Officials launched the initiative today.