June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Sharon Merriman-Nai discusses this often invisible form of trauma, where to find help, and how we...
Welcome to the July Trauma Informed Delaware (TID) newsletter created by Trauma Matters Delaware (TMD). TID is a statewide campaign aimed at preventing and eliminating the impact of adverse experiences on children, adults, and families. TID has embraced trauma-informed approaches as a key strategy to accomplish this aim and this newsletter as well as the TID website are key elements of the campaign.
TMD is a statewide grassroots coalition that coordinates sustainable, community-based awareness of and responsiveness to trauma in individuals, families, throughout communities, and within service systems. TMD’s vision is that Delaware is a place where people are resilient and reach their full potential. TMD is positioned as the capacity builder of the Trauma-Informed Delaware (TID) Campaign and will work in partnership with major stakeholders in Delaware in a joint effort to make Delaware a trauma-informed state.
In the last few editions, TMD focused on the impact of and needs in our communities related to CVOID-19. Many people have seen the headlines about increasing numbers of positive cases as Delaware and the surrounding states relax restrictions. TMD encourages everyone to follow the recommendation from the Delaware Department of Public Health and the CDC (found here https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/) when it comes to protecting their health and the health of those around them. Continued 6 feet social distancing, wearing of masks and practicing good hand hygiene are vital to protecting ourselves, family, friends and community.
COVID-19 has increased awareness of the broader issue of health disparity and health inequities faced by black and brown people. While the attention has recently increased, we know that these inequities have been present for centuries. We also recognize that experiencing racial/ethnic discrimination is often traumatic and has a well established correlation with health outcomes including a shortened lifespan. Racism and descrimination are both an adverse childhood experience at the individual level as well as an adverse community event (sometimes referred to as the “pair of ACEs”).
TMD remains committed to eliminating the impact of adverse experiences on children, adults, and families and join with those bringing attention to the trauma of racial and ethnic discrimination and oppression. We encourage people of power and privilege to educate themselves and take action. TMD will be using this edition as well as future editions of the newsletter to share resources to help individuals, agencies and communities address racial/ethnic trauma and promote healing and resilience.
TMD recently released a statement to the community regarding racism which can be viewed via this link: https://www.acesconnection.com/g/delaware-aces-action.
Did you know?
Information on COVID-19 and trauma:
This article discusses the impact of COVID-19 on veterans and first responders such as police and firefighters (as well as those experiencing PTSD). https://www.heraldextra.com/lifestyles/health-and-fitness/covid-19-taking-impact-on-frontline-workers-and-veterans/article_f09e2e9a-efea-51c8-b691-840096127723.html
This article discusses post-traumatic growth in the context of COVID-19: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/01/how-trauma-pandemic-can-inspire-personal-growth/?arc404=true
Information on Racism and racial trauma:
A timely opinion column from The Washington Post on racism as a public health crisis: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/racism-is-killing-black-people-its-sickening-them-too/2020/06/04/fe004cc8-a681-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html
Resources to Support Children’s Emotional Well-Being Amid Anti-Black Racism, Racial Violence, and Trauma
This article from Child Trends discusses racial trauma, highlights strategies for talking with children about racism and also has suggestions for additional resources including books for children and for parents and other caregivers. https://www.childtrends.org/publications/resources-to-support-childrens-emotional-well-being-amid-anti-black-racism-racial-violence-and-trauma
A Greater Good Magazine series of articles on talking to your children about racial injustices and being a white ally (among others). https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/juneteenth_tools_for_Support_Understanding_Solidarity?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=598bc936d6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_June_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-598bc936d6-70741771
Trauma Matters Delaware (TMD) Phase 1 Mini Grants awarded
TMD received an amazing 25 applications for the Phase 1 funding to support community efforts to respond to COVID-19 and to build individual and community resilience. There is phenomenal, trauma-informed work being done and/or being planned in our state! The projects selected to receive an award in Phase I are:
Ayuda Communitaria contra COVID-19 – A Laurel/Seaford community of neighbors that have come together to provide food and hygiene resources to those that are quarantined due to having contracted COVID-19.
Black Men Meditate and Self Care ( Kyma Belardo) – Introducing or supporting African American men to meditate and take care of themselves during these times that feel absent of safety.
Creating Calm (Lulu Ross Elementary School)– A project to assist students and their families in finding ways to self-soothe during and after experiencing trauma and to provide individuals with tangible tools to aid in the process of de-escalation.
Feed the Community (Nanticoke Indian Nation)– The purchase of a freezer to help serve the community during times of need, along with supporting Our Gatherings, on a monthly basis (open to native families and non-native friends). This purchase will also facilitate collaborating with Food Banks.
Managing the COVID-19 Crisis Through Mindfulness, Journaling and Positive Thinking. (Camp Rehoboth) – This project sought to continue 2 online programs, Journaling and Positive Thinking, and Mindful Mondays – to help people manage anxiety, stress, and depression brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and isolation.
Congratulations to All!
The Phase II mini-grants deadline was June 30th (Community Mini-Grants between $1000 and $3,000 with the purpose of activating community-led mental health, wellness, and resilience initiatives that align with trauma-informed practices). These awards will be determined, and the recipients will be notified by July 7th.
Doing Something Great
Nominate a Compassionate Champion
Do you know a trauma informed champion? We hope you’ll consider nominating them (or yourself) for a Compassionate Champion award. The award is based on the criteria in the Delaware Developmental Framework for Trauma-Informed Care (https://governor.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2019/02/Delaware-Developmental-Framework-FSCC.pdf ) and recognizes outstanding achievement by both individuals and organizations in providing trauma-informed services. Any individual, community partner, first responder, educational institution, and other organization providing services to Delaware’s citizens within the State of Delaware is eligible for nomination. To read more about the award and submit a nomination, click this link: https://governor.delaware.gov/family-services-cabinet-council/compassionate-champion-award/
Check out this opportunity for organizations to join a committee focused on positive development for Dover youth:
The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is working to create a committee focused on positively impacting the youth in Dover as a part of the Well-Connected Communities Initiative, supported by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The purpose of this initiative is to bring together youth and adults who will work in partnership on projects to improve the health of their community.
Do you serve youth & teens (5-18 years old) in the Dover area? Would you be interested in being part of a committee of organizations that serve youth in Dover to strategize how we can align goals and activities to leverage resources and make the most impact on the health of the community?
Who: We are looking for all organizations that work with Dover youth
What: To join the youth committee to help advise how this new initiative (Well Connected Communities) can best impact youth in Dover
When: First Meeting will be in August
Where: Online for now then location TBD
Why: To align efforts of all organizations & partner with organizations that have the same end goal of helping youth in Dover be healthy and help steer the committee in making decisions on what would best serve the youth.
If you are interested please click here and fill out the interest form.
This month’s Spotlight highlights an important group of individuals who have been on the front lines of COVID-19: childcare providers. In late March, when the decision was made to limit providers to those serving children of essential personnel, a number of them stepped up to enable essential workers to continue to support their communities. Under the guidance of Delacare, providers rapidly navigated the task of determining how many children/families they could safely serve, keep their own family and staff healthy, and provide a vital resource for the community. They dealt with last minute changes and communication challenges on a regular basis, as all came to grips with the realities of a pandemic. Providers had to navigate Delacare regulations which at times seemed in conflict with the state regulations. The need for clear communication and transparency had never been greater.
Childcare staff also supported the essential workers who dealt with frustration over the availability of care and assorted changes that needed to be implemented. Ratios of staff to children were decreased as less children were permitted in the facility or home. Every day, the temperature of each child and their caregiver had to be taken and recorded. Safety from virus spread dictated what arts and crafts or programs could be offered. Social distancing during arrival and pick up systems had to be determined and orchestrated. Every single thing had to be intentional. It was, and is, a heavy lift.
Ms. Brenda Mathis, of LJ’s Playpen Academy, says for her the virus itself is the scariest part. “It is so unpredictable, and the unknowns shift almost daily.” However, she feels very proud to be able to provide this service for her community. She is especially proud of the positive responses maintained by her staff noting they continue to find ways to be upbeat and supportive of each other. One of those staff members, Chena Harris, shared that the staff are reflecting the attitude of Ms. Mathis. Ms. Mathis reports her passion is to be that resilient person for the children in her care. She is also that person of support, information and resilience for other childcare providers. Once the pandemic hit, Ms. Mathis became a resource providing guidance and encouragement to other providers.
As our communities move forward, Ms. Mathis feels that a good “next step” in developing a trauma-informed child care system would be to have frontline representation of providers at all levels of planning when emergency situations occur. It may have prevented the perceived communication shift that resulted in these individuals not getting the hazardous duty pay they originally thought they were going to receive. Minimally, being part of the first conversations will ensure “that the rules match the reality”, says Ms. Mathis.
We want to express our appreciation to all the childcare providers who stayed open to serve children of essential personnel – we celebrate you!