Children, Trauma and Resiliency

Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
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From age 0 to 3 children’s brains are forming at an astonishing rate, creating 700 neural connections per second. But when they’re confronted with serious traumatic stress, those processes are disrupted.

Childhood traumatic stress is triggered by things like neglect and psychological, physical or sexual abuse. It can also happen as a result of homelessness, community and school violence, and witnessing or experiencing domestic violence – things that are all too common in New Mexico.

These adverse childhood experiences often lead to serious health issues later in life. They can also result in more incarceration, depression and substance abuse. But those changes don’t have to be permanent. Humans are resilient and given the right supports they can often overcome the effects of trauma.

So what are adverse childhood experiences or A.C.E.s? And, how are we as a community coming to better understand the impact of childhood trauma and providing resources to cope with the problem?

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE is provided in part by grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and American Graduate.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“It’s really important that we start to identify what happened to people, as opposed to what’s wrong with them.”
— Megan Délano, Las Cumbres Community Services

“The kids involved in our juvenile justice system in New Mexico have very serious adverse childhood experiences of trauma in their early childhood”
— Yael Cannon, University of New Mexico School of Law

“I actually grew up seeing trauma my whole life….and I didn’t want to be putting that on my kids.”
— Kendra, Domestic Violence Survivor and Mother

“I think it’s an emerging consensus we have that trauma is driving most of our social deficits, but translating that into policies, and making it into treatment modalities, is a difficult task.”
— Dr. George Davis, Children Youth and Families Department

Community Panel:

Javier Aceves, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
UNM Young Children’s Health Center

Homeless parent and client at CLN Kids

John Buchan
Social Worker/Clinical Therapy Manager
UNM Young Children’s Health Center

Megan Délano
Chief Operations Officer
Las Cumbres Community Services

Raven Cuellar
Director of UNM ACTION Clinic (Addressing Childhood Trauma through Intervention, Outreach and Networking)

Angela Merkert, Ed.D.
Executive Director
CLN Kids

Rashmi Sabu, MD
Associate Professor,
UNM Department of Psychiatry

Ronalda Warito-Tome
Training Specialist & Advocate, EPICS (Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs)

Leadership Panel:

George Davis, MD
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Director of Psychiatry for the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families Services Juvenile Justice Service
Worked previously at the Indian Health Service, providing care for several of the pueblos and tribal hospitals and clinics in New Mexico. His primary areas of interest and expertise are delinquency as an outcome of early neglect and abuse, extreme behavioral disorders in young children, psychopharmacology, and systems of care for the severely disabled and underserved.

Andrew Hsi, MD
Director, Institute for Resilience, Health, and Justice
Medical director of the UNM FOCUS FIT early intervention program

Award winning pediatrician, focus has included children and families affected by prenatal alcohol and drug exposure, family violence, parental mental illness, and unsupported teen parenting. Dr. Hsi was awarded the first national “Humanism in Medicine Award” from the American Association of Medical Colleges, “Children’s Champion Award” from All Faith’s Receiving Home and the “Voice for Children Award” from New Mexico Voices for Children.

Yael Cannon
Professor, University of New Mexico School of Law
Co-chair of J. Paul Taylor Legislative Taskforce
Also taught Juvenile Law: Children’s Legal Rights, co-chaired the District of Columbia Special Education Advocates Roundtable, worked as a senior attorney with the Health Access Project at The Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. Cannon’s research interests focus on children’s law, and in particular the educational and health needs of children living in poverty.

2 thoughts on “Children, Trauma and Resiliency

  1. I am a teacher in Albuquerque’s South Valley community. I am seeing cracks of light in the dark cave of silence when it comes to trauma-informed educational settings. Many of us have been BEGGING for this to become the orientational lens used to train teachers before they’re in the classroom AND develop their teaching once they’re there.

  2. I just watched the episode, Children, Trauma and Resiliency. The elephant in the room is poverty. Why was it not mentioned?

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