Psychological First Aid — Preparing a Trauma Response Network at Family Resources

Dr. Robert Macy (standing) during a two-day training session with staff from Family Resources. The training provides staff with tools to protect children who have suffered psychological trauma. Listen to an audio interview below.

Nearly 50 members of our staff attended a two-day training session this week that provided them with tools to protect children who have suffered psychological trauma.

The course was “Psychological First Aid and Post-Traumatic Stress Management,” taught by Frank Grijalva, Director of the Midwest Trauma Services Network, and Dr. Robert Macy, Co-Director of the Midwest Trauma Services Network and Director of the International Center for Disaster Resilience.

Children go through a wide variety of traumatic experiences, including domestic or other violence, neglect, sexual abuse, the loss of a parent, removal from a home and more. As a society, our default reaction is to ignore traumatic events and not engage the problem.

According to Grijalva and Dr. Macy, this is becoming a catastrophe for children and families who are caught up in traumatic events but don’t have the resources to deal with it, or a way to identify resources that will help them bounce back.

Because we don’t treat trauma, people fall back on other behaviors to cope — substance abuse or other risky behavior. This blossoms from a single event into multiple events that end up having a tremendous impact and a tremendous cost to our community.

Frank Grijalva, MSPH (left) and Dr. Robert Macy are noted experts in the field of psychological trauma and its impact on children, families, and communities. They will return as part of the 2nd Annual Midwest Regional Psychological trauma Conference on May 1st.

Family Resources now has a team of nearly 50 people who can act as a Trauma Response Network. Staff can go into schools, community centers, residential settings — after trauma has occurred, helping individuals and groups calm down, find ways to get safe, and find healthy ways to recover.

On May 1st and 2nd, we’re co-sponsoring the 2nd Annual Midwest Regional Psychological Trauma Conference at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf. Co-sponsors include the Midwest Trauma Services Network and International Center for Disaster Resilience.

The conference will present leading edge multidisciplinary research approaches and cross-cultural intervention solutions for providers, teachers, policy makers, and systems of care working in public and behavioral health, juvenile justice, education and related fields. Click here to download a conference brochure in pdf format, including a registration form.

This week, Family Resources Senior Vice President Christine Gradert sat down with Dr. Robert Macy and Frank Grijalva, MSPH, to talk with them about the problem facing our children and our communities.

Interview Part 1 with Dr. Robert Macy and Frank Grijalva, MSPH, on psychological trauma

Interview Part 2 with Dr. Robert Macy and Frank Grijalva, MSPH, on the impact of psychological trauma on the human body

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