First Lady Tonette Walker

First Lady Tonette Walker Discusses Benefits of Trauma-Informed Care at Mahala’s Hope

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Equine Workshops Teach Those Affected by Trauma More About Themselves

EDEN – First Lady Tonette Walker visited with employees from Mahala’s Hope, a nonprofit organization assisting in recovery from trauma and substance abuse, in Eden today. The First Lady discussed the value and effectiveness of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) principles in addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including exposure to and abuse of substances.

“Trauma-Informed Care is a powerful tool for improving the lives and well-being of individuals recovering from trauma and toxic stress,” said First Lady Walker. “Those who experience adverse events, such as violence, neglect, mental illness of a household member, or substance abuse, often face challenges in work, career, and life. By combining holistic treatment programs like those offered at Mahala’s Hope with Trauma-Informed Care principles, we can give hope to those facing toxic stress and provide the tools needed to build resilience, mitigate the future effects of past trauma, and find true healing.”

Mahala’s Hope is a nonprofit organization that assists women in their recovery from substance abuse and trauma using equine workshops, yoga and meditation, experiential art, group therapy, gardening, and cooking to teach residents more about themselves. Through nature and strength-based healing programs, Mahala’s Hope teaches women to care for one’s self and form healthy relationships with others before they return to their communities.

First Lady Walker is a strong advocate of Trauma-Informed Care. Under her leadership with Fostering Futures, nine of Wisconsin’s state agencies, 20 county human service systems, two tribal nations, one medical college department, and one nonprofit are implementing TIC principles within their interactions with each other as well as in the services they provide the people of Wisconsin. The First Lady was also instrumental in the drafting of House Resolution 443 and Senate Resolution 346, both of which work to increase the promotion and implementation of TIC on the federal level. House Resolution 443 passed the United States House of Representatives in February 2018. 

The First Lady was also involved in the recent formation of the Trauma-Informed Care Caucus in the United States House of Representatives.​