Project RISE

Treating All The Damage A Gunshot Wound Causes

Even for those fortunate enough to survive a bullet piercing their skin and violating their body, recovering physically might be only half the struggle.

Did you know a person who's survived being shot once is at a HIGHER risk of being shot again—and the next time is far more likely to be fatal?

To lower the risk of survivors face and address the psychological trauma gun violence can inflict, Jackson County COMBAT began funding Project RISE at Truman Medical Center in September of 2019. 

In the 21 months since the program's launch, nearly 300 gunshot wound survivors have been screened for Post Trauma Stress Disorder and received "Psychological First Aid."

More advanced levels of mental health care have also been provided through Project RISE to those identified as being at high risk for chronic PTSD or those who have requested it.

Since the end of 2016, there have been more than 2,000 non-fatal shootings in Jackson County.

2,050 Non-Fatal Shootings In Jackson County Since 2016

Concerning

The findings from a study conducted in Washington State has had Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker gravely concerned that GSW survivors locally might be suffering the same fate as their counterparts in the Northwest.  

Early Invention program consists of behavioral health professionals, nurses, social workers and chaplains working to make sure people who’ve suffered from gun violence have all the resources needed to fully recover.

That’s why Peters Baker worked with Truman Medical Center/University Health (TMC/UH) administrators and front-line staff to introduce Project RISE in September of 2019. The Responsive Individual Support and Early Invention program consists of behavioral health professionals, nurses, social workers and chaplains working to make sure people who’ve suffered from gun violence have all the resources needed to fully recover.

“To not address the psychological trauma done to survivors puts them at grave risk,” stresses Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. “That’s something those in the medical profession and those of us in the legal profession are responding to because the odds increase once a person has been shot that they will be shot again—and the next time their wounds might be fatal.”

COMBAT has funded Project RISE from its inception, with $235,450 allotted for the program in 2021.

Levels Of Care

Through Project RISE, TMC offers three levels of trauma care:

Psychological First Aid

• Level 1 begins with the crisis intervention, (a.k.a. "Psychological First Aid), teaching patients coping skills to deal with the more common reactions to trauma.

• Level 2 involves Project RISE's coordinator  and UMKC psychology doctoral students providing “that stepped-up care,” often beginning at the patient’s bedside. The goal is to equip patients with the skills needed for a “psychological recovery.”

• Level 3 care is provided long-term through the TMC/UH Behavioral Health Unit for patients with chronic trauma-related symptoms or other emotional problems.



“Being shot, most people might assume, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience—that the odds of it happening again are like being struck by lightning twice. In reality, a person who has survived being shot in one incident sees their odds of being fatally shot in a later incident increased dramatically. At the very least, I think Project RISE is doing something to reduce those odds. Through this program, the whole person—and not just the bullet wound they’ve suffered—is being treated and, hopefully, that will be a life-saving difference maker.” - Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker

» Rising To Meet A Challenge  

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  2. All_The_Damage_A_Bullet_Can_Cause
    295 Screened In Programs First 21 Months
    Providing 'Psychological First Aid' & More
    Trauma surgeons can describe in graphic detail the bloody horror bullets inflict when they pierce the skin and violate the body. But for individuals fortunate enough to survive a gunshot wound (GSW), recovering physically might be only half the struggle. “To not address the psychological trauma done to survivors puts them at grave risk,” stresses Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. Project RISE, a COMBAT-funded program at Truman Medical Center/University Health, focuses on helping GSW survivors make a full recovery. Since Project RISE was introduced in September of 2019, nearly 300 survivors of gun violence have been screened for Post-Trauma Stress Disorder and received Psychological First Aid.
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  3. Project_RISE_All_The_Trauma

    Treating All The Wounds A Bullet Causes

    A new COMBAT-funded program at Truman Medical Center is focused on treating all the wounds—seen and unseen—a gunshot can cause. Studies have tracked what becomes of gunshot wound (GSW) survivors long-term. They’ve discovered some alarming trends, including the high risks of survivors being shot again and eventually dying in another firearms-related incident. The TMC program, Project RISE, seeks to identify shooting victims with severe PTSD symptoms and provide early intervention. TMC doctors and nurses can start administering “psychological first aid” the moment a wounded patient has been physically stabilized. 
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    From 9/11 To GSW Survivors

    Using The Techniques Learned Treating Mass Disaster PTSD
    Suffering a gunshot wound is obviously a traumatizing experience. At Truman Medical Center, the staff is adapting methods developed to treat the survivors of the World Trade Center attacks, Hurricane Katrina and other mass disasters to help GSW victims cope with their PTSD symptoms. “We understand the need for more immediate intervention to treat people beyond the gunshot wound, itself,” says Dr. Joah Williams, a clinical psychologist with the TMC Behavioral Health Unit. A full recovery entails treating both the physical and psychological harm done.
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    Veterans Lead The Way To Progress On PTSD

    Domestic Violence Survivors Display Similar Symptoms As War Vets
    During the Civil War, amputations were routinely performed to “treat” arm and leg wounds. In both World Wars doctors observed the psychological toll combat wounds had on “shell-shocked” soldiers. Then Vietnam veterans—and women displaying similar symptoms after suffering domestic violence or sexual assault—pushed for more research to be done. In 1980 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was finally recognized as an official diagnosis. Early intervention to treat PTSD is being widely viewed as the latest progression in the overall treatment of gunshot wound survivors, whether they sustained their wounds in a war zone or a crime committed in our community. 
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