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Free Film Brings New Awareness to Trauma And How Schools Can Help

Free Film Brings New Awareness to Trauma And The Hope Behind Behavior Issues

    Kalispell Public Schools is proud to present a free screening of the Film “Resilience, The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope” this Thursday, Nov. 10th at the AT Building at FVCC. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The film begins at 6 p.m.

   The film was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival and a blend of scientific study and first hand accounts of trauma and resiliency. The film played to sold out audiences across the nation in 2015.

   Based on Centers for Disease Control studies of obesity, it is one of the most important public health studies on childhood trauma, and a seminal work on the long-term effects of trauma.

   “People hear the word trauma and think sexual or physical abuse,” Montana SOARS Kalispell, Project Director, Ronda Stevens explained, “But there are many more events that can influence behavior and personality changes. They key is to broaden our understanding of what trauma means. It can be divorce, verbal abuse, homelessness, losing a pet, or unstable home environments. Sometimes the cause of what is classified as negative behavior tracks back to some sort of trauma in their lives.”

   For schools and staff, the concept is important because recognizing the signs of trauma and offering early help can keep kids on track. Through a trauma informed lens, absences, falling grades and behavioral issues are a reason to administer additional support services instead of taking punitive measures.

   The idea of trauma-informed care is a philosophy the film explores. Kalispell Public Schools is embracing and implementing that same concept—through new policies, safeguards and interventions, which is aided and supported through a group of Social Workers hired by Montana SOARS Kalispell, which stands for ‘Support, Outreach, and Access for Resiliency of Students.’ The social workers are staffed via a five-year grant, and this film is the one of a series of events that the public is invited to participate in as a part of the same grant.

  “The community that can make the difference in the lives of our children. What can be a ccomplished when a community supports and understands these issues is at the heart of this documentary.” Stevens explained, “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.”

This film is one of many opportunities that will be offered this year, to increase awareness and educate our community on the effects of trauma.

   “It will take everyone to help build resiliency for these kids and to become a Trauma Informed Community.” Stevens said.


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