Trauma-Informed Care focus of programs
By Angie Landsverk
Community members will have the opportunity to learn about Trauma-Informed Care and be part of a conversation about heroin use and its impacts.
Several events related to these topics will take place in Waupaca and area communities next week.
They are being sponsored by the Waupaca County Department of Health & Human Services, the Waupaca Community Health Action Team (CHAT) and ThedaCare.
“It’s different opportunities at different times so all people can come to at least one event and learn. Learning is the first step,” said Kaye Thompson, ThedaCare’s coordinator of community health.
The evening events will include information about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma-Informed Care, she said.
ACEs are related to abuse, neglect and household dysfunction.
Having a higher number of of ACEs has been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential and early death.
“Research has proven that Adverse Childhood Experiences – the higher the score, the more apt someone is to have mental health issues, or drug and alcohol issues or obesity issues,” Thompson said.
People may learn their ACEs score here.
She said Trauma-Informed Care is a method which recognizes and gives assistance to those who have high ACEs scores.
The entire staff of the Waupaca County Department of Health & Human Services receiving training in it.
This type of care shifts from asking someone “What is wrong with you?” and instead asking “What has happened to you?”
Jim Sporleder retired in 2014 as the principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Washington. Today, he works as a Trauma-Informed coach and consultant, as well as a trainer with the Children’s Resilience Initiative, in Walla Walla.
Under his leadership, Lincoln High School became a Trauma-Informed school and gained national attention after there was a dramatic drop in out-of-school suspensions and increased graduation rates and in the number of students going on to post-secondary education.
Jamie Redford spent a year filming the documentary “Paper Tigers.”
It tells the high school’s story, and Sporleder will present that story when “Paper Tigers” is shown in two area communities.
The documentary will be shown from 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Masonic Lodge, in Manawa, and from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the New London High School Auditorium.
The target audience of the Sept. 13 showing is Department of Health & Human Services staff and other professionals, while the target audience of the Sept. 14 showing is professionals, including schools administrators, school staff and law enforcement.
“Jim will talk about his school. All are welcome to attend either one,” Thompson said.
She said New London is working on becoming a Trauma-Informed community, in which anyone who works with children will be trained to recognize ACEs and how to help those with a higher number of them.
There will be a presentation about ACEs from 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Waupaca High School Performing Arts Center.
It will be presented by Tim Grove, who is the chief clinical officer and senior leader responsible for the Traumed-Informed Care initiatives at SaintA.
SaintA is a Milwaukee-based human services agency which provides innovative family-centered care and educational services which embrace diversity and empower children, families and adults to improve the quality of their lives.
He has more than 20 years of professional experience in a variety of direct care and administrative positions.
Grove is a mentor with the Child Trauma Academcy, a master trainer in Adverse Childhood Experience Interface, a Mandt instructor and provides training and consulting in Trauma-Informed practices.
The public is invited to the program.
The week will end with “A Community Conversation about Heroin and Other Drugs.”
That conversation will take place from 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Waupaca High School Performing Arts Center.
It will focus on heroin use and its impact on the community, with a discussion about activities, supports and interventions which are underway.
Thompson said it will be a “mini-plunge” for the community.
She described a plunge as a day-long immersion into a topic of concern in a local community.
During the last three years, Waupaca’s CHAT took plunges into drugs and alcohol, mental health and obesity respectively.
Thompson said the group decided to revisit the topic of drugs and alcohol this year because of the increased problems being seen in the Waupaca area with drugs, particularly heroin.
Earlier this year, four community meetings took place in Waupaca to set a vision and mission, she said.
Law enforcement, treatment, harm reduction, prevention and recovery are the pillars, Thompson said.
“CHAT and community members have become involved,” she said. “Everyone we need to do this stuff is at the table and a a lot of community members.”
City and county law enforcement, judges, the district attorney, a public defender, Probation and Parole, the county’s Department of Health & Human Services, CAP Services and physicians are among those involved in the effort.
“They will tell the story of the need when we first got together in January, what the picture looked like,” Thompson said.
The community conversation will also include personal stories of people in long-term recovery, as well as current treatment and law enforcement efforts.
Thompson said the Sept. 15 program will show the work of the past eight months.
Those who attend any of the programs being held next week will walk away with a basic knowledge of ACEs and Trauma-Informed Care.
“People just came together,” she said. “Everybody just stepped right up and said, ‘We want to make a difference. We want to help you.’”