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Gov. Wolf: Office of Advocacy and Reform Announces Plan to Build a Trauma-Informed Pennsylvania [phila.gov]

The Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR), established by Governor Tom Wolf’s 2019 executive order to protect Pennsylvania’s vulnerable populations, today announced the launch of a volunteer think tank comprised of 25 experts representing a diversity of fields and backgrounds who will develop a plan to make Pennsylvania a trauma-informed state. “The people of Pennsylvania are compassionate, thoughtful and resilient. We take care of each other, and that drive to protect our families and our...

Mental Health Happy Hour

This is a good story about mental health. Let’s say a bunch of social workers, nurses, trauma specialists, philanthropists, non-profit professionals, writers, EMTs, and data crunchers walk into a bar. Knock knock, no joke, this actually happened in December 2019. Mental health professionals begin to schmooze over spinach mushroom rolls, cheese and hummus platters, and ginger brew. Sounds good right. There’s so many reasons to luv Philly. The event was sponsored by the Scattergood Foundation...

What makes us safe: Facing trauma, gun violence, and hatred

An onslaught of violence begs the question: What makes us safe? Should we run and hide, should we become heavily armed, should we only speak with people who look like us? It would be easy to frame recent hate crimes in Monsey , Pittsburgh , and San Diego solely as anti-Semitic. It is that and more. Hateful attacks against Jews indicate a “rot in democracy” and call for systemic reform, according to History Professor Dr. Deborah Lipstadt. I began thinking about safety over 25 years ago when a...

What If There Was a City Official Whose Only Job Was to Make Philly Better for Kids?

The case for a children’s czar in Philadelphia. This summer, the Scattergood Foundation — a behavioral health nonprofit — partnered with data analytics firm Azavea to produce a report on the well-being of children in Philadelphia. The project used a raft of public data to map risk factors that affect the city’s kids — exposure to shootings, family poverty, and educational attainment, for example — as well as the quality of local “assets” that help mitigate those risk factors, like schools,...

‘Burnout is real’: The importance of engaging in self-care practices when faced with secondary trauma [whyy.org]

Chera Kowalski remembers working at McPherson Square Library when overdoses became a more common occurrence in Kensington. It was 2015, and Philadelphia saw 696 overdose deaths that year — a 52% increase from just two years before — eighty percent of which involved opioids. There were more than twice as many overdose deaths than homicides. At the time, library staff didn’t have naloxone — an opioid overdose reversal medication — or the training to administer it. The best staff members could...

As awareness of childhood trauma rises, new free therapy program launches for Philly students [whyy.org]

The fire that destroyed her dad’s third-floor apartment is the scariest thing that’s ever happened to 8-year-old Dakota Johnson. It was five-thirty in the morning. Someone on the first floor of the building had fallen asleep smoking. Dakota and her dad, Kenneth Johnson, woke up to the sound of the fire alarm. First it seemed like it might be just a small blaze, but when Johnson opened the door to the apartment, smoke and soot rushed in. Dakota was too scared to crawl out into the hallway, so...

New Philadelphia mural brings childhood trauma into view [WHYY.org]

Children's Crisis Treatment Center, a leader in the Philadelphia ACE Task Force and trauma-informed movement, unveiled a powerful new mural which highlights their approach to providing trauma-informed therapeutic services for children and families. A fanciful and colorful vision now adorns a Philadelphia office building, but its message is intended to bring more awareness to the serious issue of childhood trauma. Mural Arts Philadelphia and the city’s behavioral health department Tuesday...

Announcing the release of Trauma-Informed Philanthropy, Volume 2

Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey are pleased to release Trauma-Informed Philanthropy, Volume Two , a new guide that feature s lessons learned from leading local and national efforts that provide insights on strategies for advancing the trauma-informed movement in Philadelphia. The three partnering organizations collaborated in 2016 to publish Trauma-Informed Philanthropy,...

End the cycles of trauma and poverty for Philly families | Perspective [philly.com]

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry is shedding light on intergenerational trauma, adding to the growing body of evidence that the impact of trauma can be passed down from one generation to the next. While the research stems from Scandinavia more than 75 years ago, it has critically important implications for Philadelphia, a city challenged by high rates of deep poverty and violence, contributing to trauma exposure among its residents. During World War II, tens of thousands of children...

Academic Pediatrics publishes case study on Philadelphia ACE Task Force

On Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, Academic Pediatrics released a special issue highlighting a comprehensive research and policy agenda for addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and promoting well-being. The issue features an article, Developing a Community-Wide Initiative to Address Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress: A Case Study of The Philadelphia ACE Task Force." Authored by the Task Force's three co-chairs, Lee Pachter (lead), Sandra Bloom, and Joel Fein, along with staff...

Explaining behavior: Professionals seek to address students' trauma [thenotebook.org]

The biological mother of "Jailyn" had turned her over to her cousins when she was several months old and they became her custodial parents. That is, until the custodial father fatally shot the mother while the girl was in the house. Now living in foster care, she has angry outbursts in the classroom that include screaming at her teacher and kicking objects. When she hears a loud noise, she thinks it’s a gun. Her 6th-grade teacher says she is slow to complete schoolwork, appears disorganized,...

Fighting the trauma that afflicts too many Philly children [philly.com]

Warm weather often brings a rise in crime and violence to Philadelphia, just as students and families head outdoors to enjoy a brief respite from the rigor of the school year and winter’s cold. The dichotomy of this phenomenon is upsetting, yet unsurprising. The reality is that so many children in our city do not reach their potential. It is undoubtedly a struggle to grow up in a city with the highest poverty rate of the nation’s 10 largest cities, persistent violent crime, and poor...

Focusing awareness, understanding on helping traumatized kids heal [NewsWorks.org]

The goal is a lofty one — to transform the city of Philadelphia. Organizers of Greater Philadelphia Trauma Training Conference are going about it one professional at a time. The event, which wraps up Friday at Thomas Jefferson University, is intended to help those in different professional fields become more aware of how to work with children who've experienced trauma. The 450 or professionals who attended Thursday's session represented the juvenile justice world, health care and education,...

Clergy embrace trauma informed training in Greater Philadelphia region

An exceptional all-day “Trauma-Informed Training for Clergy” event was held in Philadelphia in May 2017, organized by JSR Educational Enrichment Strategies, Inc. Founder and President Doris Smith-Ribner, Retired PA State Appeals Court Judge. Judge Smith-Ribner recognized the need for this training particularly for those on the front lines of dealing with the impacts of trauma and its prevalence within Philadelphia—the Clergy. Here is her report from that meeting. Highly-regarded trauma...

Philadelphia ACE Task Force Co-Hosts Screening of CAREgivers Film for Philadelphia City Council

In partnership with Councilwoman Helen Gym, Councilman Al Taubenberger, and documentary filmmakers Vic Compher and Rodney Whittenberg, the Philadelphia ACE Task Force co-hosted a screening of Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion. Their Pain. and briefing about Secondary Traumatic Stress for Philadelphia City Council on Friday, April 21 st . Councilmembers, their staffers, and other community leaders attended the screening and briefing. The audience was struck by the depiction...

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