With a new year beginning, it is also a time that many of us set the traditional new year’s resolutions. The top four resolutions made for 2021 according to a recent poll were losing weight, increasing exercise, saving money, and making more friends. Are you surprised that after experiencing a pandemic in 2020 that managing stress did not appear as one of the top 4 new year’s resolutions in the poll? I noticed that the top four goals have tangible outcomes that are measurable – lower numbers on a scale, lower BMI, larger bank accounts and more supports. Do you think if there was a specific tool used to measure stress reduction that we would rank at the top of the list as a new year’s resolution? What if the benefits of dealing with stress and trauma were more widely understood and easily measured?
One of the goals of Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence initiative is to help communities become more trauma-informed by providing trainings to the community such as the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) trainings regarding trauma and The Community Resiliency Model (CRM). Both trainings bring awareness to communities about the concept of well-being and the importance of self-care. CRM is a skills-based nervous system stabilization program which focuses on practices that return the body to a normal rhythm when we bump out of our zone. Benchmarks’ Partnering for Excellence brings together individuals and communities to promote trauma informed work and to make the work sustainable for years to come by equipping our partnering agencies with the tools to carry the work forward. As we prepare to conclude our work in two North Carolina communities this year, the foundation has been laid for the trauma informed work to continue through local leadership. Strong partners such as local school systems, social services and LME/MCO’s recognize the importance of this work and will forge ahead with community trainings. Our hope is that when we ring in 2022, individuals will be more aware of the impact of trauma on health and can share with others tangible ways to reduce stress because of the trauma informed work being done in our community.