Last Wednesday, we launched the new initiative Pottstown Trauma Informed Community Connection (PTICC), at the Pottstown campus of Montgomery County Community College (MCCC).
The event was opened by Mary Rieck, PEAK Coordinator, and the approximately 130 attendees from various community organizations, healthcare services, educational facilities, religious institutions, and more received information about our new work to reduce the effects of trauma and adverse childhood experiences (commonly referred to as ACES) here in Pottstown.
Some key messages presented from steering committee members such as Jack Tebes, Ph.D., from Yale University, Samantha Matlin, Ph.D., of the Scattergood Foundation, Suzanne O’Connor, of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Laurie Kolka of Pottstown School District, Dr. Andrew Trentacoste, CEO of Creative Health Services, and Kirsten Murray of Lakeside Educational Network, include that we do not address this topic with an “us versus them” mentality, almost every child experiences some type of trauma, from divorce to drug or alcohol abuse, to physical abuse, and more. With this in mind, our initiative is about coming together as people to work toward support of our children, through awareness of trauma and ACES and through implementing social-emotional learning (SEL).
In The Mercury, Michilea Patterson wrote that “’This is why some kids misbehave at school and fight at home…they’re trying to send up an SOS that’s something’s wrong,” she [Kirsten Murray] said. Suzanne O’Connor said children that are being difficult and angry all the time, most likely are experiencing some type of trauma. O’Connor, who is also a member of the trauma steering committee, said now it’s time for the community to figure out what their part can be such as how to appropriately respond to adverse childhood experiences.”
During two portions of the event, attendees were broken into groups to discuss what ACES are and how they experience trauma in their work, and how we can address the reduction of ACES and the building of resilience here in Pottstown. The groups were filled with people working in several industries, thus bringing varying perspectives to the topics, but all agreed that we can work together as a community toward the recognition of the importance of compassion, community, and recognition of the whole person.
The slideshow that was presented during the launch event can be found here.
There will be several educational sessions for interested community members to learn more about trauma and SEL. There will be a training session Oct. 6 and Nov. 15 at Pottstown Middle School. For more information or to RSVP, use the email PTICC@pottstownd.org or call 610-970-6614. You can also visit http://www.pottstownmatters.org. The next community partner meeting will be held October 19 from 9:00-11:00 at Montgomery County Community College. For information, call 610-970-6655.
You can subscribe to PTICC’s YouTube channel to see videos of local individuals’ experiences of trauma and resilience. More will be posted there soon. You can also follow PTICC on Twitter @PottstownTICC and on Facebook.