Jasmine is a bright young girl who began fourth grade at a new school this year. Jasmine adjusted well to her new school, friends and teacher during the first several weeks. However, as the holidays approached, her teacher began to notice a change in Jasmine’s behavior. Jasmine, an otherwise well-tempered girl, was suddenly crying a lot and sometimes uncooperative in class. Strangely, she even exhibited moments of aggression and depression that nobody could understand.
Luckily, Jasmine’s teacher had attended a Young & Healthy sponsored training on Trauma Informed Care. The teacher came to suspect that, for some reason, the holidays were an emotional trigger. As it turns out, Jasmine lost her mother to cancer and was being raised by a distant relative. It became very clear that Jasmine’s behavior was due to the emotional stress brought on by her family trauma. The holidays were exacerbating the situation.
Trauma Informed Care has made a significant impression on Young & Healthy. We have already started to educate and provide the necessary tools to teachers in the community who are in a position to make a difference in supporting these traumatized kids, while building their resilience. We have seen first-hand how many children in our community suffer from trauma such as divorce, death, alcohol or drug abuse, neglect, violence in the home, etc. Young & Healthy is committed to being a Trauma Informed Care agency and will add additional services which embrace the sensitivity needed to bring overall wellness to our families.
Young & Healthy continues to provide needed medical, dental and mental health services via our professional volunteers. But, we will also bring sensitivity training, insight and skill building techniques to educators so that together we can create a path of calm and resilience. Our work of empathy and sensitivity will come in the form of:
• A pair of eyeglasses so that a child is able to do his homework and focus in the classroom
• Trauma Informed Care training for the teachers at our schools
• Surgery for a child who needs tubes in her ears to stop reoccurring ear infections
• A referral to a dentist to fill painful cavities
We have the opportunity to be brokers of hope for those who need help. It is our hope that you will join us in embracing our new endeavor to care for the whole child and in continuing to serve the underserved such that we may strengthen our community overall.
Thank you for your generosity,
Young & Healthy Board President