By Sunny Shin, The Conversation, November 18, 2019
As the first person to hold the new role of Surgeon General of California, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is pushing an unprecedented plan to implement universal screenings for childhood trauma within the state’s schools.
Childhood trauma is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as an “emotionally painful or distressful” event that “often results in lasting mental and physical effects.”
Burke Harris’ plan is already more than a dream: In June, Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a budget that provides roughly $45 million for trauma screenings and another $50 million to cover training for those who will administer the screenings. Burke Harris’ vision of universal screening for trauma in children may be a massive undertaking, but it’s also already under way.