ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Family Peace Center was awarded $200,000 by the Winnebago County Mental Health Board(WCMHB). The funding will help the center by expanding mental health and wellness programming and support staff training.

“We really want to address the needs of survivors in a holistic way and this grant allows us to provide a variety of opportunities,” said Kelsey Hart the Peace Center’s training and care coordinator. “The Family Peace Center has great mental health counseling partners on site already. And it’s our plan with this project to expand the sort of self care and wellness opportunities that we offer because we know that can be a really great companion to mental health counseling and just healing after a traumatic experience like domestic violence.”

Support groups, journaling, acupuncture, and yoga are a few examples of new ways they can now help survivors outside of talk therapy. The money will also give staff training and assistance for the demands of the job.

“We are very aware of the levels of secondary and vicarious trauma that are that they can experience, and we want to ensure that we are creating a culture that’s really mindful of that and recognizing that this is hard work and that we can take care of one another together. And that way you can stay in the work in a sustainable way,” Hart said.

Winnebago County residents approved a half-cent sales tax in March 2020 to help fund the WCMHB. It makes financial support like this possible.

“The Mayor’s Office of Domestic and Community Violence Prevention has grown and so has community awareness around domestic violence,” Hart said. “Certainly, survivors of domestic violence are impacted their mental health is impacted in a tremendous way. So we’re very grateful for the support.