For several years I was a mental health consultant and assessor on a multidisciplinary team addressing school and community threats made by kids; all of whom, we discovered, as absolutely no surprise to me, were suffering from untreated trauma. Trauma, as I define it, is anything that separates us from love. I will shout love and trauma informed care from the rooftops forever because it is the answer.

It was my job to interview, compile and report recommendations between the school, student, law enforcement, family members and any other individuals involved in particular incidents. As needed, I would also report to schools or community sites to provide crisis response, mental health first aid or debriefings to those affected.

One particular response lasted over three months, for which I ended up being the primary clinician. No amount of training can prepare you for that kind of work. And not even the survival of my own childhood could prepare my nervous system for that kind of taxation. My body, mind and spirit paid. And I fought back harder with passion.

That’s all I have to say about that chapter in my life for now.

As I laid on my mat in class last night, I sent love to my former STAS team, my school based mental health team, to Texas, to the parents and families of children who are no longer with us, to the 27 other communities rocked by school violence just this year and, to you.

If you want to help, learn about the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and The Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Care. If you need help, reach out, even if it’s scary. You’re not alone. There is a way back to love.~

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