Free Trauma Training Offered to Community and to Staff
The second part of a workshop on trauma and how it affects children will take place Friday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at FVCC, Room 139 in the AT Building. The same workshop is available again on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the same spot. The event is free and the public is welcome.
Speaker and social worker Stacy York will continue her trauma informed training in these workshops. The workshop is made possible through Kalispell Public Schools and Montana SOARS/Kalispell. SOARS is an acronym which stands for ‘Support, Outreach, and Access for Resiliency of Students.’
Recognizing that trauma is often the root of behavior issues is central to the workshops. According to York, using a trauma-informed lens to administer intervention means better results and a decrease in medical costs, mental health costs, addiction issues and even time and resources spent in correctional facilities.
The hope is that these workshops will create a stronger community awareness of trauma, so that everyone can help guide the kids that are affected.
“If you’re a coach who is yelling at a certain student who has experienced a lot of verbal abuse, that may not be the best way to reach them. This workshop will provide strategies so that you can choose the best way to reach them.“
For schools and staff, the concept is important because recognizing the signs of trauma and offering early help can keep kids on track. Trauma can be a caused by a variety of issues: divorce, medical issues, a car wreck, unstable home environments or verbal abuse. While schools can’t prevent trauma, recognizing its effects can mean improving student outcomes. Through a trauma informed lens, absences, falling grades and behavioral issues are a reason to administer additional support services instead the classic response: taking punitive measures such as suspension.
For communities, a trauma informed lens can lead to cost savings, better utilization of resources and better outcomes.
“This impacts how tax dollars are spent and where public resources go,” Stacy York noted, “The more trauma-informed your community is, the more resources are used to help and heal. This addresses the root of the issue and not just the symptoms. Right now, all of our tax dollars are about addressing symptoms.
“Helping the kids in our district that are affected by trauma, is a major focus of the project and a major piece of our purpose and efforts.” SOARS project manager Ronda Stevens explained, “It will take everyone to become a Trauma Informed Community.”
Stacy York will be back in the Flathead again January 26, 27, 28 for a final round of training.
For more information on trauma and its effects visit: www.childtrauma.org.
You can RSVP for this event at http://www.mtsoarskalispell.com/stacy_york.