More than two decades ago, two respected researchers, clinical physician Dr. Vincent Felitti and CDC epidemiologist Robert Anda, published the game-changing Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. It revealed a troubling but irrefutable phenomenon: the more traumatic experiences the respondents had as children (such as physical and emotional abuse and neglect), the more likely they were to develop health problems later in life—problems such as cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. To complicate matters, there was also a troubling correlation between adverse childhood experiences and prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, and poor diet. Combined, the results of the study painted a staggering portrait of the price our children are paying for growing up in unsafe environments, all the while adding fuel to the fire of some of society’s greatest challenges. However, this very same study contains the seed of hope: all of the above-mentioned risk factors—behavioral as well as physiological—can be offset by the presence of one dependable and caring adult. It doesn’t need to be the mother or the father. It doesn’t even need to be a close or distant relative. More often than not, that stable, caring adult is a teacher. It is here, at the crossroads of at-risk teens and trauma-informed care, that Paper Tigers takes root. Set within and around the campus of Lincoln Alternative High School in the rural community of Walla Walla, Washington, Paper Tigers asks the following questions: What does it mean to be a trauma-informed school? And how do you educate teens whose childhood experiences have left them with a brain and body ill-suited to learn?
Download the YOU AND app which is an interactive mobile application created to restore and preserve social and emotional wellness for youth during challenging times.
The RESET Toolbox is full of resources to minimize anxiety and build resilience in children and teens. Parents, educators, school/district administrators, students, community members, youth-serving organizations, and collaborative agencies will learn how to help kids and teens cope with stress including social isolation. Our collective goal is to help children and teens in Orange County, California overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and other adversity that they may be facing.
The podcast where teens talk about teen issues. Hang out with us every month as we share personal experiences, interview professionals, and talk about tangible resources to go on your own mental health and wellness journey.
The Peer Connector program matches a person with a trained mentor, with lived experience, that can either be a family member or individual for 12 weeks of one-on-one connection. Day-to day situations drive weekly discussions with mentors. The Peer Connector program is designed to provide participants with individualized support, education, and skill-building knowledge that helps participants strengthen relationships with their families, increase cooperation, and understand how to navigate the community-based services.