Posted on January 4, 2019
What the heck are we going to say a year from now about 2019! At least for us in the U.S., 2018 felt like a roller coaster of news cycles, economic indicators, and policy scares (remember that hero we lost who turned his thumb down and saved Medicaid Expansion!). I’m not sure the experience over in Europe is much different. I’m hoping we are witnessing an ugly process of redefining modern democracy and not its downfall.
I believe that the trauma movement will look back at 2018 as a watershed year. Oprah joined the team. The history of our movement probably never had a more critical 15 minutes than her 60 Minutes segment. Oprah joins the movement right as our vision of getting the information on trauma exploded. I’m astonished at all the “trauma” workshops I see at conferences around the country. Thanks to your efforts, trauma is the topic of our times!
I see our challenge as two-fold. First, we need to ensure everyone understands trauma. I believe when a majority of voters and policymakers understand the science on trauma that we will stop supporting policies the hurt people and start working towards scientifically supported solutions. We need to expand our scope behind just service providers and into the community. Another group who desperately needs to hear the message about trauma are those in services who are fighting their own traumatic demons. There is incredible power in the science for those suffering; it is on us to make sure we deliver the message of hope in a sensitive yet life-changing way.
Second, we need to operationalize our trauma-informed efforts. We must now use the science as a mirror to take a fresh look at our programming, approaches, services, organizational culture, self-care, and policies. For most of us, this entails a multi-year quality improvement process that moves the mirror strategically across all aspects of our operations. Trauma-informed is a paradigm shift, my friends, it takes work to restructure a foundation. Let’s agree to see “becoming trauma-informed” as an ongoing journey of learning and improvement and not some magical destination.
For one, I’m excited for 2019! My calendar is filling up with great trips and trainings. This month I get to do my first, Trauma-Informed Policing training with the Greenwood Village Police Department! I have trainings on the books for Las Vegas, Ft. Worth, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Cleveland. I am excited to continue my partnerships with Peak Vista and Fountain-Fort Carson School District in southern Colorado. I hope to get another book out sometime this summer as well.
So much to look forward to, I’m ready to get to it!!!