Urban Youth Trauma Center

Promoting Resilience among Youth and Families Affected by Community Violence

Through Leadership, Collaboration, and Action


Urban Youth Trauma Center


The Urban Youth Trauma Center (UYTC) is a SAMHSA funded Treatment Service Adaptation Center and a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. The program is meant to promote and disseminate comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated care for multi-problem, high-risk youth affected by trauma and community violence.

UYTC aims to:

·Increase awareness about the needs of traumatized youth who are affected by community and domestic violence, youth with co-occurring substance abuse, disruptive behaviors, and those who are involved with court, juvenile justice, and law enforcement systems, while emphasizing the enhancement of community resources and service system collaboration.

·Disseminate trauma-informed intervention models designed for multi-problem youth experiencing traumatic stress, violence exposure, and co-occurring substance abuse (using Trauma Systems Therapy for Adolescent Substance Abuse or “TST-SA” and disruptive behavior problems (using STRONG Families); and

·Provide training and consultation to facilitate service system and community resource collaboration, using a socio-ecologically based and trauma-informed model of collaboration developed by UYTC, called YOUTH-CAN (Youth Overcoming Urban Trauma and Healing through Community Action Network), which promotes the use of best practices for trauma-informed violence prevention among youth service providers within targeted communities.




Jaleel Abdul-Adil, PhD (UYTC Co-Director)

Jaleel Abdul-Adil, PhD (UYTC Co-Director)

Dr. Abdul-Adil’s career interests are culturally-sensitive, ecologically appropriate, and evidence-based practices for low-income urban youth and families. His current research focuses on family-focused interventions for youth with trauma and co-occurring disruptive behavior and community violence exposure. Dr. Abdul-Adil is also one of the originators and nationally-renowned experts on the use of modern Rap music and Hip-Hop culture to enrich psychosocial interventions for urban youth.

Liza Suarez, PhD (UYTC Co-Director)

Liza Suarez, PhD (UYTC Co-Director)

Dr. Suarez’ interests focus on adolescent traumatic stress and substance abuse, treatment for anxiety disorders among urban youth, and empowering communities to address community violence and its impact on youth and families. Dr. Suarez has developed and is currently evaluating and disseminating an integrated intervention targeting traumatic stress and substance abuse problems in adolescents.




Clinical, research and training opportunities for psychology students

UYTC co-directors offer clinical and research training opportunities to psychology trainees at the Institute for Juvenile Research, in which they can participate in UYTC service delivery, training, program evaluation and dissemination efforts.  These training opportunities are available through the Pediatric Stress and Anxiety Disorders Program with Dr. Suarez and the Disruptive Behavior Disorders Program with Dr. Abdul-Adil.  Prospective psychology clinical interns can obtain more information about the psychology internship at http://www.psych.uic.edu/internship/index.htm.

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