Blog

Meditation: Be Kind to Yourself (lionsroar.com)

A three-step contemplation to give yourself the compassion you need (and deserve). Put both hands on your heart, pause, and feel their warmth. You can also put your hand anyplace on your body that feels soothing and comforting, like your belly or face. Breathe deeply in and out. Speak these words to yourself, out loud or silently, in a warm and caring tone: This is a moment of suffering . Suffering is a part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I...

North Dakota Trauma Initiative Sparked at August 16th U.S. Senate Field Hearing and Roundtable in Bismarck

Dr. Tami DeCoteau, holds the sign-up sheet for a North Dakota trauma initiative, flanked by Dr. Zach Kaminsky, (left), Dr. Mary Cwik, (right) of the Center for American Indian Health, Johns Hopkins University, and Megan DesCamps, health policy advisor for U.S. Senator Heitkamp ________________________ There is often a distinct event that leaders in the trauma movement mention when asked about how it all got started in their community. Many times it is when one of the authors of the ACE...

Mindfulness for Children: Fun, Effective Ways to Strengthen Mind, Body, Spirit (heysigmund.com)

Mindfulness has an extraordinary capacity to build a strong body, mind and spirit in ourselves as adults, as well as in our children. Science has told us that it can help to protect against stress, anxiety, depression, illness and pain, ease the symptoms of autism and ADHD, improve academic performance and social relationships, as well as expand the capacity to experience positive emotions. Children are wonderfully present in what they do, but as life picks up speed, the capacity to...

Telling a Story About Education

I don’t typically post twice in one day, but this blog “Open Letter” on Huffington Post caught my eye and I thought it should be shared. The focus is on education, and there are a number of themes we can see in the letter. First, the author, Diane Ravitch, has an academic background and insight, but states that she has abandoned the reform efforts of the day because the favored reforms among politicians are “useless and counterproductive….” What she seems to be staying is that the story she...

Community-Based Interventions for Trauma Are Cost Effective

Society absorbs a lot of costs that are associated with childhood inflicted trauma (ACEs). Yet we fund programs regularly, and don’t really require solid data on results. That just seems to be a byproduct of people managing programs. We commit to results, secure funding based on that commitment, then do everything we can to prove that we have results. We secure data that suggests progress, and hide any data that then problem might be getting worse (at least in my experience). Fortunately, we...

Volunteer unit helps police officers deal with trauma [SalemNews.com]

There was a time when police officers who experienced a traumatic event — a hostage situation, a fatal accident, an ugly mob scene — might be told to “tough it up, this is the job.” Officers on the North Shore are going in a different direction with the Law Enforcement Critical Incident Stress Management Team. Volunteer officers from 10 local departments were trained recently to help their peers through stressful incidents. There are plenty of such incidents. Just recently, a Salem police...

Students traumatized by loss and violence get a fighting chance to learn [LATimes.com]

The teacher asked her fourth-graders to sit in a circle and rate their feelings from one to 10. Christopher Bland clenched his fists. He ripped a piece of paper to shreds. As his classmates spoke, he rocked back and forth. Tonia Rowe-Russell made a mental note: Keep an eye on this one, usually so smiley, eager to please. He stopped writing during writing time. She asked what was on his mind. His baby sister died that summer, he told her. She hadn’t known. Her mom had passed away, she said.

Book Review: Ending Zero Tolerance: The Crisis of Absolute School Discipline [JJIE.org]

In November 2015, a video of a young girl in South Carolina’s Spring Valley High School classroom being “thrown to the ground” by Richland County Sheriff Deputy Ben Fields swept the nation. In March, another video surfaced of a Baltimore school officer kicking a high school student. In May, an autistic 10-year old girl was dragged and handcuffed by police in Louisiana. This comes on top of scientific data declaring that children as young as preschool age receive excessive punishments in...

Raising of America and Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities Partner to Share "Historic Wins in Kansas City"

Documentary series, The Raising of America , partnered with the city of Kansas City, MO and Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) to share the story of how the community used the documentary series to achieve a historic win for all city employees: 6 weeks of 100% paid parental leave! Kansas City is featured in The Raising of America's August newsletter , including a one hour and 7 minute webinar hosted by MARC, featuring MARC advisor Kathryn Evans Madden, who shares the journey...

Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women's Lives [Consumer.Healthday.com]

Women who suffered physical or emotional abuse as children often die at a younger age than other women, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among nearly 6,300 middle-aged U.S. adults, female survivors of child abuse were more likely to die over the next 20 years, versus other women. And the worse the abuse was, the greater the impact appeared to be on a woman's life span. Those who said they'd suffered severe physical abuse were 58 percent more likely to die during the study period,...

Book Review: The Future of Juvenile Justice [JJIE.org]

While juvenile justice system reformers and practitioners in the United States often focus on the nation’s diverse range of practice to identify ideas for system change, we less frequently examine other nations’ juvenile justice systems to ascertain best (or worst) practices. Though this is partly attributable to cultural differences and the variance in legal systems (e.g. adversarial versus inquisitorial), there is much to learn from colleagues across the globe as we strive to become more...

Keeping Schools Safe While Reducing Suspensions and Expulsions [JJIE.org]

There’s good news and bad news in the report “Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2015,” the most recent in an annual series produced jointly by the U.S. departments of education (ED) and justice (DOJ). Just as important, there’s help available to sustain the good news and tackle the bad. The good news is that schools are safer than they have ever been, and that crime in the nation’s schools has declined during the past two decades. Two examples illustrate this recent trend. [For more of...

A New Effort to Teach Low-Income Students Marketable Skills [TheAtlantic.com]

The Obama administration is rolling out an experimental plan that will allow employers and training programs to partner with accredited universities to teach students work-related skills. This pilot will enable students to receive federal financial aid for programs that are typically ineligible for these funds, like coding boot camps. By pairing traditional universities with companies that train workers for in-demand fields like computer coding and advanced manufacturing, the U.S. Department...

New research into preventing obesity in children by starting in infancy [BostonGlobe.com]

It is one of the most pressing health problems of the next generation, yet clinicians have had little success stemming the tide of childhood obesity. Attempt after attempt to prevent excessive weight gain in children has failed, and that excess body fat raises a child’s immediate and long-term risk of debilitating conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and bone and joint problems. Now, an early intervention program focused on teaching new parents to calm infants without using food as a...

Feds End Use of Private Prisons, but Questions Remain [TheAtlantic.com]

The Department of Justice today announced it will phase out its contracts with private prisons, calling the prisons unsafe, expensive, and ineffective in reducing recidivism. About 22,000 of 193,000 federal prisoners are held in such facilities, adding up to 11 percent of the population. Though meaningful as a gesture of the government’s commitment to reducing the number of people in prison, the move will have limited impact on the 2.2 million people in federal and state custody. The...

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