Blog Posts

To Build a Healthier City, Atlanta is Opening Its Schoolyards to Everyone [nationswell.com]

By Monica Humphries, Nation Swell, July 19, 2019. It’s known as the “City in a Forest,” thanks to 100-year-old oaks, maples and magnolias that create a tree canopy covering nearly half the city. But what may come as a surprise is that many of Atlanta’s residents don’t have easy access to a public park. One-third of Atlanta’s population lives more than a 10-minute walk from a green space, and the city ranks 42nd for park access based on an evaluation of America’s 100 largest cities by the...

I was a hostage at the 2018 Trader Joe's shooting. Here's what I know now about trauma [salon.com]

By Lynnie Westafer, Salon, July 20, 2019. For the viewers at home, most hostage stories end with the captives released and the suspect taken away in cuffs. The music soars, the credits roll, and news anchors return us to regular programming. Rarely do we see what happens next — that for many, it’s just the beginning of a new hell. Trauma is humbling — it took me nearly a year of resistance, setbacks and shame for me to finally accept that. Yes, the trapped miners are now free, but some now...

Missed Opportunities: Pathways from Foster Care to Youth Homelessness in America [voicesofyouthcount.org]

By Voices of Youth Count. Voices of Youth: Alanna’s Story Alanna is a 23-year-old woman living in Philadelphia. 1 She was placed in foster care at the age of three, along with three siblings, because her mother was using drugs. Alanna and her siblings spent 7 years in foster care. They were initially placed together in a foster home that Alanna described as abusive. According to Alanna, the child welfare agency “did nothing” the first time Alanna reported the abuse. After she reported the...

To Heal CPTSD, Do You Need to Love Yourself?

One of the messages that’s been drilled into us by popular culture is that “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.” This is something people tell you when you get your heart broken and you feel like you must be… no good! And for a lot of years, every time I heard this I felt like a different species than everyone else. Because there were times when I didn’t particularly love myself – and here and there when I was younger, times when I hated myself. But there was a never...

QUEST Movie: A Benefit for the Coalition on Homelessness

Quest is an important film about trauma, love, and resilience. I know the film maker of Quest, and I know how passionate he is to help people understand about Adverse Childhood Experiences and what can happen when one person believes in you. Santiago Rizzo tells a compelling story of his childhood that all should see. His passion is contagious, and his willingness to speak about trauma, the power of love, and the need for honesty is powerful. I suggest folks go and see this film, and then...

Trauma-informed Courts: How to Create One and Why You Should [jjie.org]

By Brenidy Rice and Judge Ann Gail Meinster, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, July 17, 2019. Modern courtrooms function more like emergency rooms than traditional courtrooms. The sound of the gavel replaces the siren. Clerks, judges and attorneys are the first responders while the podium becomes the center for the differential diagnosis and treatment. More than ever before, courts are inheriting and being asked to resolve fundamental societal issues that bring people into contact with...

Drug Overdose Deaths Drop in U.S. for First Time Since 1990 [nytimes.com]

By Abby Goodnough , Josh Katz and Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times, July 1 7, 2019. Three decades of ever-escalating deaths from drug overdoses in the United States may have come to an end, according to preliminary government data made public Wednesday. Total drug overdose deaths in America declined by around 5 percent last year, the first drop since 1990. The decline was due almost entirely to a dip in deaths from prescription opioid painkillers, the medicines that set off the...

Claire's Story: Davy deserves to feel safe. Part 70.

By P. Berman, A. Hosack & K. Hecht Davy is scared. I must be calm. No matter what Davy says, I need to stay calm so he can feel less scared. Claire was still feeling shocked by Davy’s reaction to Larry’s picture; she hadn’t known he was having nightmares about Larry. She had just hoped he didn’t remember those bad times. However, he did and that was that. She had to shake of her own feelings for now, she could get comfort from the Carsons for herself later. Her Davy needed her. She dried...