Our Work

CBITS (Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools)


Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) is a school-based group intervention that has been shown to reduce PTSD and depression symptoms and psychosocial dysfunction in children who have experienced trauma.  

Schools are increasingly viewed as a critical setting for the delivery of health and behavioral health services. In fact, the majority of children with emotional or behavioral health needs do not receive services; among those who do, approximately 75% receive services through their schools. The linkages between trauma exposure, physical health, behavioral health and academic functioning underscore the importance of integrating trauma-informed care within educational settings.

  • Children exposed to violence, for example, exhibit lower reading achievement, higher rates of school absence, lower grade point averages, lower graduation rates and are suspended from school more than twice as often as other students. 
  • Youth with histories of trauma can have difficulties regulating emotions and behavior and can be impulsive or disruptive in school settings when experiencing reminders of past trauma. 

Expansion in Connecticut:

CHDI is working with DCF, CBITS trainers, and local provider agencies, school systems, and school-based health centers to disseminate CBITS across Connecticut. Training began in 2015. By 2017 it is anticipated that up to 60 school-based clinicians will be trained to deliver the CBITS model. School districts now offering CBITS in select schools include:

  • Bridgeport
  • Bristol
  • Enfield
  • East Hartford
  • Hartford
  • New London
  • New Haven
  • Norwalk
  • Stamford

CHDI has partnered with the Stamford Public School District since early 2015 to enhance their school-based behavioral health services, including an emphasis on trauma-informed care and implementation of CBITS. 

DCF plans to expand CBITS in 2016-2017 to additional agencies, with the goal of eventually attaining statewide coverage. 

For more information about CBITS, contact Jason Lang or Heather Sapere.


Jason Lang - Director of Dissemination and Implementation
Heather Sapere - Data Analyst