More than ever before, mental health researchers and professionals are finding that untreated trauma is at the core of a significant number of chronic health issues.
Mental health issues have become a widespread problem as evidenced by the rising numbers of stories of suicides and other tragic events that appear daily in our news feeds. However, far too many illnesses are being incorrectly attributed to various conditions when, in fact, they were caused by untreated trauma. According to the 2018 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), one in five children under the age of 17 has experienced one or more types of childhood adversity that is likely to affect their physical and mental health as adults.
Chester Street Foundation was established in 2017 to shine a light on the invisible wounds of childhood trauma so that children receive the treatment they deserve. Our strategy to fulfill our mission is to educate our community on the science behind the emotional reactions to trauma and the ways to help traumatized children heal and recover. It’s not just about hurt feelings and troubling emotions; it’s much deeper and is rooted physiologically. Trauma remains wired in the body and brain. Whenever it triggers its victims, it causes them to relive the panic and terror of their original trauma over and over. These wounds are not visible to the human eye, but they are very real and left untreated can cause chronic health issues which last a lifetime.
We believe education is a critical component to helping traumatized children on their road to recovery and have designed our TraumaTALKS programs for the community at large and professionals who are on the frontlines of this issue, including, mental health professionals, educators, and organizations working with children.
Offered both as live presentations and online videos, TraumaTALKS are high-quality trauma-informed-training and professional development presentations targeting different aspects of trauma and featuring Chester Street Foundation’s Founding Director and CEO, Shawn Alex Nemeth (a trauma survivor), along with other licensed mental health professionals. Its newest TraumaTALKS, Trauma in the Classroom and An Introspective Look at Trauma and the Need for Self-Care are being currently offered not only to professionals working with children but to all individuals in our community interested in educating themselves about trauma. CSF is one of a few organizations in Texas leveraging lived experience along with evidenced-based research through its educational platform. By raising awareness of and providing training about childhood trauma, the adults that surround these children will be able to better help them on their road to recovery.