Can we highlight the needs of the young and vulnerable in the coming year?
There are lots of media remembrances as we look at what will soon be noted as the past year of 2018. We tend to acknowledge the high-profile issues like the death of famous people, major crises that occurred, popular news stories, key accomplishments and so much more that has been identified by our media.
What is often unnoticed is the significant number of children and teenagers who are struggling with many life devastating issues. Suicide, drug and alcohol issues, mental health struggles like depression and debilitating anxiety, school problems, violence and bullying are just some of the examples of what is going on with hundreds of thousands of our youth.
Knowing that we are dealing with the future of our families, communities and our country through our children, it seems we should be placing these issues on our radar for some serious goal-setting in order to improve the outcomes for our children in 2019. However, we seem to be preoccupied with a polarized country with issues that overshadow the priority of our children. Similar to past years they disappear from the focus of the needed societal changes that could improve their condition and future capacity. The many issues that are identified in the Adverse Childhood Experiences research are still prominent in the lives of our children. Yet, we are doing very little to improve the environments that our children are living in.
It is why I think the agenda of trauma-informed care is so important. I have the privilege of speaking to professionals on a regular basis who are on the front lines of dealing with child trauma and school environments. Each time I speak to them I am impressed with the issues they are facing as they deal with our children and their families. I have become increasingly aware that they are longing for training, support and services to help them and the children they serve find appropriate resources to help with the issues that are so destructive.
I am hoping for a national movement for trauma-informed care that will establish new resources and opportunities for those who care for our children to be trained and capable to help children cope with the many adversities they face. It could begin with how we understand the impact of trauma. Then we can sensitively and contextually develop resources that could provide coping mechanisms and strategies to change environments in our childcare centers, schools, mental health programs, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, social service programs and other programs where children are being cared for. This kind of trauma-informed movement gets to the cause of what has happened to our children. Only then can we creatively provide treatment programs that are attuned and aware of what our children need most for coping and recovery.
In this moment of year-end remembering I am hopeful that we will consider the consequences of the many issues facing our children and teenagers. As we embark on this New Year, I am resolved and committed to advocate for programs that will offer new options and opportunities for our children to cope, heal and overcome life’s most difficult obstacles. It should be one of our highest priorities to find new ways to invest valuable resources and strategic help for our children. It is my hope that 2019 will be a year of raised awareness, new resources and great impact for the good of our children all over our country. They desperately need our proactive support!
Happy 2019 to you all. Thanks so much for reading Lakeside Connect.