How Becoming Trauma-Informed as a School Community Can Lead to More Comprehensive and Successful Approaches for Students with Symptoms of Trauma
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In researching the question, how can becoming trauma-informed as a school community lead to more comprehensive and successful approaches for students with symptoms of trauma, the impacts of trauma on the brain and learning are explored. Over the last decade, there has been an emergence in research and treatment modalities across multiple fields of study such as medicine, science and mental health, of a focus on understanding the impact of trauma on the brain and its’ development. It is critical for the field of education to participate in interventions to support health and wellness for students, with a trauma-informed lens, given their influence and bearing during the formative years when traumatic and adverse experiences can effect such long-term consequences (Cook et al., 2005). The majority of critical structures and development of the brain occurs in childhood in a sequential order that determines functional capabilities of the mature brain (B. D. Perry et al., 1995). Given the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, which evidences the impact of trauma and early childhood adversity on later life outcomes, it is prudent to focus on mental health and emotional well-being of students as early on in life as possible (Anda et al., 2006). Trauma-informed approaches such as education, training and programing within the school setting are reviewed as viable ways to provide deep awareness and understanding on the impact trauma can have on students and their ability to learn and be successful. Trauma-informed schools are better equipped to provide the appropriate care and support that students need to become successful, by adequately training their staff and by supporting mental health and wellness as a priority in schools.
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