Earlier this year, legislation was passed that directed the Commissioner of the Office of Mental Health “convene a workgroup and report regarding frontline worker trauma informed care” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This group was launched in February with Donna Bradbury (OMH) and Glenn Liebman (MHANYS) as co-chairs and is comprised of thirty trauma-informed care champions from a variety of fields and perspectives from across the state.
Is there ever a perfect time? My parents, loved ones, and mentors would tell me no. There will never be a perfect time. No matter how hard we try to “control”, “manage”, and “optimize” our time, we will still be left with the feeling that we need more or didn’t accomplish what we wanted to do or needed to do. How many times has “If I could turn back time or had more time” echoed across our minds at some point in our day, month or year? What would we do if we could turn back time or had more time?
That acknowledgment that there will never be a perfect time and the need to take action is what drove the creation and formation of Care Compass Network’s Regional Trauma-Informed Care Network (RTIC) in April 2019. Our team has been together for over two years and all of us believe that the time is NOW to push the Trauma-Informed Care movement forward.
We are proud to fund and support a total of four- TIC pilots in their journey towards trauma-informed and building resiliency for their staff and community that they serve.
Much research and scholarship has been dedicated to understanding the way trauma, such as social injustice and systemic inequality, affects people. When this type of research is used to disrupt the social status quo or restore power to marginalized groups it is called social justice research. However, history shows that research may also further oppress groups and maintain systemic inequality when the people effected don’t have a voice in the results. Within a Youth Voices project, we are striving to hear the narratives of youth in Monroe County. Here are some things we've learned.
Sextortion is the issue of maliciously using information to blackmail people into sexual acts or allowing the perpetrator to get away with sexual assault. A complicated topic and experience that can be traumatizing across multiple levels, sextortion is only made more prevalent and complex in the current environment. Be sure to read this month's newsletter for even more information on this critical topic.
Whenever someone I am meeting for the first time asks me what I do for a living, I’m often met with the question “why?” The focus doesn’t tend to be on the victims/survivors aspect of my work, but rather on the reasons why I choose to work with incarcerated individuals. It is true that I have an academic interest in incarceration, the politics of punishment, and how mass incarceration in the US is an extension of slavery and colonialism. But the honest answer to the “why” is deeply personal for me. One of the common threads throughout what I have witnessed both personally and professionally is trauma.
How can we effectively apply the foundational concept of the 3 E's of Trauma to assessing needs in such an atypical experience as an ongoing pandemic? And why might it be important to do so? One aspect of current media coverage promotes the idea that we should anticipate a large-scale mental health crisis at best and nearly universal trauma at worst. While there are very real risks related to our health and well-being in coping with these times, by considering the 3 E’s within the current context can provide a more hopeful, action-oriented framework.
The holidays mean something different to everyone. Some people feel joy and anticipation as the season is approaching. Others feel sadness and dread and cannot wait for January to come. This year the holiday season will be different for everyone; it will be a year unlike any other. During this time of instability and uncertainty, we can find peace, joy and compassion for ourselves and those around us. Paying attention to our own needs and the experiences of others Creating space for our own needs and the experiences of others is another example of trauma-responsiveness.
For many organizations, this year began with a renewed sense of optimism. In January and February, (time that feels so long ago now), my inbox and meeting calendar began to be filled with kick-off events and strategic plans related to vision and seeing with clear eyes. This theme made complete sense given the calendar had turned to 2020 or 20/20. . Reflecting on experiences of 2020, 2020 delivered on its promise to help us see clearly. Now that we see, will we act?
It is essential to “assume positive intent.” This practice has the power to transform the default setting most of us have, which is often one of blame, distrust, finger-pointing, self-protection, and judgment. That default is not intentional but simply learned behavior. For many of us assuming positive not a given but a daily re-framing that requires practice.