Walla Walla ignited “the Heart of the Matter” at the Trauma-Informed Care Conference, Beyond Paper Tigers, June 28-29. The conference was filled with so many good insights and ideas on how to work with ACEs in our young, vulnerable population. The final session included some best practices that were captured in a lively graphic by Anne Nelson of Drawn2Solutions (see attached). I’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words and Anne effectively captured the highlights so we would have a picture in hand to help us engage others as we continue the conversation in our own communities.
How about using this visual piece as a starting point in the next conversation you plan to introduce to trauma-informed care? Print out a copy or two, carry them with you and post them up in convenient locations. Chances are you’ll be speaking to someone in one of the fourteen areas represented. You can quickly explain what the heart of the matter is by going over the five key areas that are imperative to success in resilience trumping ACEs.
Share how various entities are addressing ACEs in their area and what they are doing to help contribute to healing. For instance, the speaker from the school districts reminded us how teenagers are always at risk and we must care for them each and every day; this might be done by listening to music or doing brief mindfulness practices in the classroom. Sharing the ACEs information with teens and having them come up with solutions for their own care is good medicine and teaches them self-responsibility and builds confidence. It ties in with the information under the Youth sector and the SHEO acronym: Students Helping Each Other. How powerful it was to hear a group of young people with a united voice speak on how they were addressing ACEs in their school.
We heard from representatives in the Law and Legal System as well as a local police officer that had worked at Lincoln High School. The take away from these groups is that getting to know the kids on a personal level and sticking by them is imperative to their recovery. Teaching others in authority positions about ACEs while demonstrating authentic connection and mentorship is the key to their success.
Then there was The Dalles Community; those in the Columbia River Gorge area who saw a need and through a grass-roots effort, adopted the Sanctuary Model of safety for ACEs impacted young people. They use the seven commitments as guides for this sanctuary and feel it’s been a great success there. In business, we heard how new ways of management and care for employees is not only a good thing to do, but ultimately results in greater profits, both financially and personally for the owners.
The power of this picture is in the information that continues to live and be shared as we all go forth in our daily lives. It’s filled with examples and should stimulate even more ideas for you to try. Underneath it all, we are helping each other be safe, connect and learn.