MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Wednesday, representatives of local organizations gathered at the YWCA on Concord Street to celebrate $750,000 in federal funding to help augment the Manchester Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team, or ACERT.
Developed in 2016 by YWCA New Hampshire, the Manchester Police Department and Amoskeag Health as the first program of its kind in the U.S., ACERT connects children involved in adverse childhood experiences or ACEs such as exposure to violent crimes or domestic violence with community services that can help break the intergenerational cycle of trauma and provide mental health support.
Since its establishment, the program has expanded to other parts of New Hampshire and U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have introduced legislation to help a national rollout of the concept.
The incoming funding will help continue expansion of the program to other parts of New Hampshire and help train Manchester Police officers to train other police departments to begin their own ACERT programs.
“I think there’s no better investment of federal resources than the $750,000 for this program,” said Pappas.
YWCA CEO Jessica Cantin compared the development of ACERT to Safe Stations, the in-house opioid treatment services within fire stations that began in Manchester and spread across the country.
Cantin noted that the incoming funding will also help incorporate new non-profit groups to assist with ACERT programs beyond the ones that have come on board since the programs establishment in 2016.
“It has been really wonderful to see all the partnerships grow over time,” she said.