OAK LAWN, Ill. (WLS) -- Advocate Health Care's self-described Trauma Recovery Center is the first of its kind in the Chicago area, officials announced Monday morning at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn.
The facility's purpose is to complement the medical services already provided by Advocate Hospitals' emergency rooms in Cook County. The center offers survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault and gun violence, among others, psycho-social support.
Experts said the idea is to aid them in the process of rebuilding their sense of safety, while also ending the never-ending cycle of violence many victims embark on.
"We know all of them have post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, many of them had post-traumatic stress disorder even before they had the particular event that brought them to our facility," Advocate Chief Medical Officer Kelly Guglielmi said Monday.
The facility - which, for safety reasons, is at an undisclosed location - opened in early October. Guglielmi said as of Monday, the center had already helped 36 people.
"We have to treat not only the physical ailments, but basically the damage to the spirit that comes from these acts of violence," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said during the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Preckwinkle was joined by other public officials, including Senator Dick Durbin.
"It's not just the matter of the gun," Durbin said. "Babies aren't born with a gun in their hands. Infants don't come into a syringe in their other hand. They don't learn to walk and toddle so they can get to a crime scene. Something happens in their lives. The question is, whether we can turn it around."
The Trauma Recovery Center serves people over the age of 13 with a Cook County address. It offers individual and group therapy, support groups, safety and self-care guidance, among other services.
First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
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