Tuesday, August 16, 2022

AHN Women’s Behavioral Health, Eden’s Farm, Staunton Farm Foundation, Partner to Provide Mental Health Services to Survivors of Sex Trafficking, Exploitation

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Women’s Behavioral Health is partnering with Eden’s Farm, a Pittsburgh-based organization that provides transitional housing and trauma-informed holistic care to survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, to provide these survivors with intensive outpatient psychological care.

Grant funds from Staunton Farm Foundation are supporting the program.

The pilot program for survivors is modeled after AHN Women’s Behavioral Health’s successful mother-baby comprehensive mental health treatment, including intensive group therapy sessions three hours a day, three days a week, with a focus on peer support, stress relief techniques, life skills and building self-confidence.

Eden’s Farm works to provide resources and aftercare to individuals who have been trafficked and impacted by the commercial sex industry by building relationships and providing survivors with opportunities to thrive.

“We are thrilled and honored to enter into this partnership with Eden’s Farm, and to embark on the important work of helping survivors of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation,” said Sarah Homitsky, MD, psychiatrist and medical director, AHN Women’s Behavioral Health. “Drawing from our intensive outpatient model, with its emphasis on learning to manage painful emotions, identify patterns of negative thinking, effectively communicate and solve problems, will help empower these individuals to move forward into the future.”

"Human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation are issues that intersects with an array of systemic vulnerabilities (e.g., poverty, immigration, substance abuse, foster care, gender-based violence, LGBTQIA+, sexual trauma) that requires targeted and intentional care. We believe that the only way to provide holistic care to survivors is through genuine collaboration amongst various agencies,” said Annalisa Gibbs, Founder and Executive Director of Eden’s Farm.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Allegheny Health Network's Women's Behavioral Health in piloting this much needed care for survivors in Eden's Farm's supportive home and for survivors across the region." 

“We are passionate about piloting a clinic in Pittsburgh that will address the complex needs of  human trafficking survivors and offer them a crucial sense of security, support and understanding in a safe and healthful setting,” said Allie Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer at AHN. “Staunton Farm Foundation’s considerable support provides an opportunity for AHN to administer healing in the most profound sense of our mission to do so.”

“Staunton Farm Foundation embraces the chance to collaborate with AHN in this pivotal effort,” said Joni Schwager, Executive Director of Staunton Farm Foundation. “It is a privilege to support the development of a multidisciplinary clinic inclusive of psychiatric and behavioral health services that can help transform unimaginable agony and abuse into hope and dignity.”

To learn more about Staunton Farm Foundation, visit the website.

AHN Women’s Behavioral Health’s team of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, licensed counselors, social workers provide care to women in the greater Pittsburgh and Erie area. To learn more about AHN Women’s Behavioral Health Services, visit the website.

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