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Trauma-Informed Approach

Refer to this guide if you are interested in learning about trauma-informed approaches in education and libraries



Healing Neen

Film Description: After surviving a childhood of abuse and neglect, Tonier “Neen” Cain lived on the streets for two nightmarish decades, where she endured unrelenting violence, hunger and despair while racking up 66 criminal convictions related to her addiction. Incarcerated and pregnant in 2004, treatment for her lifetime of trauma offered her a way out... and up. Her story illustrates the consequences that untreated trauma has on individuals and society at-large, including mental health problems, addiction, homelessness and incarceration. Today, she is a nationally renowned speaker and educator on the devastation of trauma and the hope of recovery.

Film Length: 54:03

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Film Description: Resilience is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior. However, what’s predictable is preventable. Physicians, educators, social workers and communities are daring to talk about the effects of divorce, abuse and neglect. And they’re using cutting edge science to help the next generation break the cycles of adversity and disease.

Film Length: 60 minutes

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Paper Tigers

Film Description: “Stressed brains can’t learn.” That was the nugget of neuroscience that Jim Sporleder, principal of a high school riddled with violence, drugs and truancy, took away from an educational conference in 2010. Three years later, the number of fights at Lincoln Alternative High School had gone down by 75% and the graduation rate had increased five-fold. Following six students over the course of a school year, we see staff try a new approach to discipline: understanding and treatment rather than judgment and suspension. Using a combination of vérité and revealing diary cam footage, Paper Tigers shows that just one caring adult can help break the cycle of adversity in a young person’s life.

Film Length: 102 minutes

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An Overview of Trauma-Informed Care: American Academy of Pediatrics - Reaching Teens

Film Description: In this video, adolescent medicine specialist Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, explains the importance of understanding ACEs when caring for children and teens who have experienced trauma. Topics include: the roots of trauma; trauma prevention; nature vs. nurture, and the effects of stress hormones on the brain. From The American Academy of Pediatrics publication "Reaching Teens: Strength-Based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development." 

Film Length: 22:34

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 Wounded Places: Confronting Childhood PTSD in America's Shell-Shocked Cities

Film Description: In neighborhoods ravaged by years of disinvestment and racial exclusion, too many children and young people like Caheri Gutíerrez, Antonio Carter, and Javier Arango wrestle with sudden rages, nightmares, inability to trust, depression, and difficulty concentrating in school. Traumatized by violence, poverty, and adversity as disturbing as some war zones, they show symptoms similar to PTSD—except there is no “post.” But peer counselors, doctors, and community organizers are blazing a new model of trauma-informed care. Rather than ask, “What’s wrong with you?” they ask, “What happened to you?” and "How can we help you heal?" Through trauma-informed care, Caheri and Javier became remarkable counselors now working with other young people on how to transform trauma. Children can flourish, and so will the nation, when we invest in impoverished communities rather than neglect them.

Film Length: 42:28

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