As I mentioned in my first post last week, the United States Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing entitled Identifying, Preventing and Treating Childhood Trauma: A Pervasive Public Health Issue that Needs Greater Federal Attention on July 11, 2019. This significant hearing was the first of its kind, which is landmark and long overdue.
I commend Chairman Cummins for bringing this issue before the Reform and Oversight Committee and for conducting a compelling and compassionate public hearing. Four courageous individuals testified, presenting testimony of their own personal trauma story and their process of recovery. It was filled with both tragedy and challenges. Their very relevant stories represented the kinds of trauma that so many face in our communities each day. They are survivors but not without a great deal of struggle, reaching out for help and personally working through some truly difficult issues. They are amazing individuals who were brave enough to tell their stories in public and be questioned extensively by committee members.
After this section of the hearing professionals and advocates from varied states and organizations were able to share what they have done in their states and communities to deal with the overwhelming problem of childhood trauma. Some were from cities but many were from rural communities where there is a prevalence of trauma, addictions and other related issues. They too were compassionate and dynamic in their presentations. The harsh reality of what our professionals are dealing with each day was overwhelming.
As hearings go, it was stated by several members of the committee that this was one of the most compelling hearings they have ever witnessed. The power of this day was palpable and although we barely touched the surface of the extent of this issue, it was a good beginning.
I will warn you that the hearing took 4 hours and had some graphic representations of child trauma. For those of us who are continually dealing with this issue, it is an important step in how we as a nation will deal with this life-dominating issue for which we are spending trillions of dollars to rectify.
Hopefully this will be the first step in raised awareness that could begin to prioritize this issue in our national legislature and provide some funding for the care of so many of our children who have been trauma-impacted.
I was extremely pleased to be present at this hearing personally. I do hope that we can all advocate for new legislation to help our children and find new opportunities to prevent childhood trauma in our nation. At least it is a beginning.
For more information regarding the hearing here is the link.