Friday, 05 February 2016 02:38

Seeing the World Through the Lens of Trauma

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January Professional Development Summary 

Seeing the World Through the Lens of Trauma: The Impact of Trauma on Social, Emotional, and Health Outcomes 

This year, all six TPPP Professional Development Meetings will connect to the theme “Supporting Healthy Teen Relationships”. 

The January Professional Development Meeting kicked off the 2016 theme. Emily Luft and Stacey Slovacek from Alive and Well STL, provided an overview of the definition, prevalence, and impact of trauma throughout the lifespan. Special attention was given to the findings of the Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES), the impact of trauma on brain development and body physiology, and how trauma connects to adolescents’ ability to identify and form healthy relationships. Stacey Slovacek was the Alive and Well STL Ambassador for the event and her experiences as the Drop-In Coordinator at The SPOT highlighted the importance of using a trauma-informed approach when interacting with adolescents.

One of the things that struck many TPPP members was the fact that “As adults, children who were placed in foster care have PTSD rates twice as high as US War veterans”. 

The presentation also made TPPP members more aware of the cumulative effect of trauma on young people. Data showed differences in sexual behavior and teen pregnancy/paternity depending on an individual’s adverse childhood experience (ACE) score. Having 4 or more adverse childhood experiences was correlated with negative health outcomes at every age. 

The big take-away from the presentation was that we can all reframe the question we ask from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What’s happened to you?” in order to better serve teens in our programs.

For a copy of the slide handouts, contact TPPP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you missed the training or would like to refresh with a full-length training, you can view “How Trauma Impacts Social, Emotional and Health Outcomes” which is available online and was created by the St. Louis Mental Health Board and Department of Mental Health in partnership with Alive and Well STL.

Alive & Well STL invites you to their upcoming events. Visit their website today for details!  You can also contact Alive & Well STL to request a presentation for your organization or group.

Additional Resources:

Missouri Department of Mental Health 

Policy Guidance on Screening for Trauma 

National Child and Teen Trauma and Stress Network  

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – NCTIC 

ACES Too High News  

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