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Welcome to the August 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 stakeholders in Delaware in a joint effort to make Delaware a trauma-informed state.
The State of Delaware continues to respond to the COVID 19 pandemic including preparing for the start of K-12 education in the fall. The Department of Education has released guidance for schools regarding reopening which includes options based on the presence of community spread of COVID 19 (minimal, minimal to moderate and significant). These recommendations were the result of a collaboration with three school reopening workgroups and included public comments, a state survey of more than 20,000 families, students, educators, and school/district leaders, Department research, and health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). TMD continues to encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the Delaware Department of Public Health and the CDC when it comes to protecting their health, and the health of those around them, from COVID 19.
To read the guidance and complete recommendations, go to https://news.delaware.gov/2020/07/15/state-of-delaware-announces-guidance-for-reopening-of-schools-for-2020-21-academic-year/
We recognize that the uncertainty of what will happen for students in the fall is stressful for children, families, and communities. In this edition of the newsletter, we are sharing some resources to help build resilience and to respond to racial/ethnic trauma. In the meantime, remember to stay cool and hydrated.
Did you know…?
Information on Racism and Racial Trauma:
This article from Mental Health America discusses race-based traumatic stress (RBTS) and provides numerous resources for prevention and community based healing:
If you are looking for conversation starters about racism with your children check out this list of 12 children’s books that talk about racism and injustice:
Resources for Building Resilience
The American Psychological Association developed a downloadable Racial Stress and Self-care: Parent Tip Tool with information about the relationship between racial stress and adult health and parenting as well as strategies for promoting resilience in the face of racial stress. Find the tool here: https://www.apa.org/res/parent-resources/racial-stress
The University of Delaware Center for Drug and Health Studies created this short infographic of positive childhood experiences along with preventive and protective factors to building children’s resilience: https://www.cdhs.udel.edu/content-sub-site/Documents/PCE%20Infographic%20Final%2024%20Jun%2020.pdf
Children and Families First is running a weekly virtual group for parents, foster parents and/or professionals dealing with children impacted by trauma: “Responding, Not Reacting” starting August 5th. There is also a virtual teen boot camp for learning ways to Cope, Connect, and Overcome in this stressful world. Register by contacting [email protected] or visiting cffde.org/trauma-intervention.
Trauma Matters Delaware (TMD) Phase 2 Mini-Grants Awarded
Soul Refresh – plans on placing 1,000 books in the hands and homes of Wilmington residents to promote emotional, spiritual, and psychological healing. Soul Refresh will also reshape the physical body through the provision of free haircuts, a sit in movie theater, and short meditation/ yoga sessions.
Self-care Initiative – an Online Week and Workshop – activities responsive to parent identified solutions to mental health and respite care needs
Employment Support Network – providing a comprehensive system of support to those recently unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis
Never Alone Project (DECCF) – providing social support and guidance in finding behavioral health support to elderly, disabled, and chronically ill persons throughout the State of Delaware
New Hope 4 New Life – bringing Mental Health Awareness, Wellness, and Activities to the Community for Sustainable Resilience in the face of adversity
Refreshed New You and Attitude – getting kids and their families involved and invested with their self-care
Food First – providing healthy food to families living in food deserts, to provide food to families during the sheltering in place, and to educate families about ways to cook healthy foods and the connection between food and health
Health, Healing, & Hope – promoting healing and providing coping skills through mental health and wellness activities using education and ARTS
‘Help! I Can’t Stop Worrying About Money. What can I do?’ – educating and offering treatment to our communities that are experiencing financial trauma due to COVID-19, circumstances and environment factors
Breaking Barriers – creating easily accessible video content that helps jumpstart, conversations about mental health
Our Mental Health Matters (CIT) – engaging the Black community in a dialogue around the relationship between structural violence and mental health; and provide a safe space for community members to process current events
Healing Spaces – providing virtual, culturally competent, trauma-informed group therapy and education for Black social justice advocates, organizers, and activists who have experienced racial, historical and vicarious trauma
Resiliency Program for Families – promoting resilience skills and provides fun family moments during this stressful time.
Congratulations to all!
Do Something Great
The barbershop is one of the few safe places where Black men feel very comfortable having candid conversations on just about anything. All over America, the barbershop continues to serve as a second home and place of refuge, healing, and compassion for Black men. Join in the virtual barbershop as they talk about life … REAL Life. Use the following link to connect to this ongoing conversation.
Are you looking to get out of the house and be a hero at the same time? Summer is always a time for blood shortages, more so now with COVID-19. Donation sites have set up safety protocols including scheduling appointments and screening prior to donation. They are also looking to increase the supply of convalescent plasma and are collecting donations from those who have recovered from COVID-19. If you are able to help, you can get more information and schedule here: https://www.delmarvablood.org/
Resilience is defined by optimism (focus on strengths), attitude toward life (focus on action), emotional awareness (the key to good communication), control (of self responding to circumstances), social support (network of friends or family), sense of humor (ability to laugh at life’s frustrations), confidence (self-esteem), and ability to problem solve (willing to adapt/ be flexible).
A great example of resilience during this pandemic are the people who have jumped in to help others by making masks. They are nearly ubiquitous, yet they remain unique. We want to highlight their efforts and thank them for bringing their resilience to the aid of their family, friends and community.
When the pandemic made people feel powerless, mask-makers acted. Some of them are people who already sew regularly while others are people who hadn’t touched a sewing machine in 20+ years. Some designed their own masks using CDC guidelines; some researched by watching YouTube instructional videos. Others joined online groups and shared best practices in the evolution of making masks to protect their communities.
Can you adjust the nose piece? What kind of wire is needed? Is there a pocket or flap to add a filter? Is the elastic irritating to skin? Are ear guards needed? What about washing instructions? Should they tie around the head or do we use headbands? Will it pass “the candle test” (You can’t blow out a candle through the fabric)?
In talking with people who decided to make masks for others, certain themes emerged. These included a sense of importance for helping their community, of being resourceful by using saved up materials, cast-off clothing and things from other hobbies, of meeting new people and a shared sense of purpose, and of laughing at the failed efforts, only to try again.
And across the mask makers, there are the connections: a grandmother who is making masks for grandchildren (and now all of their friends) using their favorite comic book characters or superheroes; the children who decorate masks with fabric paint and sparkles for their parents; the Native American woman who used left over regalia fabric, so that the masks would already have been passed through the Warrior’s Circle; the retired teacher who made masks with smiles on them for the individuals working to distribute food. They all were giving these fabric works of the heart away. None were looking for recognition.
Shannon Payton works the weekend and holiday shift for The Division of Family Services. She realized early in the pandemic that the agency’s plan to provide all their staff with masks might be difficult because of availability issues. So, she borrowed the family sewing machine and began to organize other sewers in the DFS community. Her focus was to keep her colleagues safe – so that they can do the important work of helping families and making sure children are safe. Shannon organized the sewers based on their skills so that everyone had a part in producing the masks. She was joined by friends – and friends of friends – until there was perhaps a dozen of them. They made hundreds of masks. She feels honored to have met co-workers up and down the state, all with the same mission. She states having these new relationships and purpose helped her get through the initial periods of stress and anxiety. Working to provide masks to the first responders, reminded all of them that “they (we) are all in this together.”
So, we offer this shout out to everyone who has stepped in to make masks for others in their personal and professional networks. We recognize that what you have given is much more than scraps of fabric – they are resilience in motion.