Shannon Searle needed help getting her life back on track.
She had experienced years of abuse dating back to her biological father and continuing through her adult years with two husbands. Shannon truly felt the weight of her past and in August 2019, all of this led her to a second attempt on her life.
Shannon was brought to the Behavioral Health Institute at Mercy Health – St. Charles Hospital in Toledo, OH where she received clinical help. It was there she learned about the Mercy Health – Toledo Trauma Recovery Center (TRC).
“Before coming here, I couldn’t look toward the future. I was just living day-to-day,” Shannon says. “…You see it everyday but I’m so lucky. I really am. I’m lucky to be here talking to you and I’m lucky that St. Vincent had this program.”
In late 2018, Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center was awarded a $600,000 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to help build the Trauma Recovery Center. Located within Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center, this center is an outpatient program that provides services to victims of crime.
Trauma recovery services are available to area residents who have suffered from abuse, assault, domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking.
A clinical team of licensed social workers, clinical counselors, and a victim advocate provide services to these individuals and their families.
The Mercy Health Trauma Recovery Center is the only one of its kind in northwest Ohoio and started taking referrals on May 1 of last year. To date, the program has received more than 300 referrals from Lucas County courts and local emergency rooms.
“Our goal is to reach victims that would not usually seek services,” says John Leskovan, M.D., medical director of Mercy Health Trauma Services (and pictured in the photo above with Shannon). Dr. Leskovan spearheaded bringing this program to Toledo, OH. As a surgeon, he says his role is to help his patients heal physically. The goal of the Trauma Recovery Center is to help them heal in both mind and spirit.
“We want this program to help guide clients to a new place, and if we can provide them with the resources to get to a new normal, that’s a win. That’s a success,” Dr. Leskovan says.
The program works with each survivor and helps them learn how to recognize and cope with symptoms. It also helps them move toward healing and recovery through evidenced-based therapy and clinical interventions.
Services provided at the Mercy Health – Toledo Trauma Recovery Center include:
- Clinical case management and advocacy for victims of crime
- Trauma-focused counseling for children and adults
- Screening and treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Group therapy
- Legal and court advocacy to assist victims with information and education including assistance with filing for victims’ crime compensation
- Assistance with resources such as emergency housing, legal, transportation, food and clothing and other resources
- Education and family support on trauma and the journey of healing
When reflecting on her journey toward well-being, Shannon says she wants to ensure she shares her story to help others. She wants to make sure other victims know that with the support of friends and family, the cycle of domestic violence can be broken. She also emphasizes that victims should try to hang on to hope and that life can get better.
“Once you start realizing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it gives you a reason to keep going,” Shannon says. “And this place has given me my light.”
Learn more about the mental health screening services offered at Mercy Health.
The Mercy Health – Toledo Trauma Recovery Center can be contacted at 419-251-0707.