July 2018: Letter From the President
Dear HealthCorps Family,
Last month, when my friend and Sharpstown High School teacher Paul Nagi shared, “Over half my students are experiencing or have experienced trauma, ” I was not shocked. After fifteen years in the field, HealthCorps recognizes the steady rise of young people around the country exposed to deeply distressing or disturbing experiences. Recent data in fact says that half of all American children have experienced at least one potentially traumatic “adverse childhood experience,” or ACE. Trauma comes in many forms – parental divorce/separation; neglect; absence/death or incarceration; violence in the home or neighborhood; living with the mentally ill, substance abusers, those with chronic illness; mental and physical abuse; experiencing economic hardship; environmental disasters (such as Harvey) / displacement and more. Trauma cuts across all socioeconomic groups in America.
At HealthCorps, we first understand the need to do triage by ensuring that young people have the tools and skills to navigate their trauma NOW. Secondly, we understand the need to rebuild family and community to address the sources of societal trauma that can be prevented or reduced. We are fortunate that Dr. Michael Crupain (Science Officer, of the Dr. Oz Show) and Dr. Mark Goulston (HealthCorps Advisory Board member and renowned psychiatrist) will join us in person this month at National Coordinator training. They will speak respectively to “Problem Solving in Public Health” and “’Downshift ‘Mental Resilience Training – Save the Life of Your Child”.
We are also fortunate to conduct training again this year in the Inland Empire of California where a powerful community coalition has pulled together to create opportunities to address the needs of its youth and residents. Our San Bernardino Coalition partners share our mission of giving young people immediate tools to weather life’s formidable challenges as well as our long-term mission of building resilience in America’s youth so they can then strengthen their own families and communities.
Our Coordinators, of course, are not certified counselors and follow strict protocol regarding referring any trauma to the correct school resources. However, by leading sessions on addiction, chronic illness, mental health, emotion regulation, stress strategies, social media dangers, the importance of family mealtime and conversation, HealthCorps is relevant in helping students navigate the obstacles they face every day of their lives.
President, HealthCorps Inc.