Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Understanding Racial Trauma

Racial trauma refers to the stressful impact or emotional pain of one’s experience with racism and discrimination. Those exposed to racially traumatic events may experience posttraumatic symptoms similar to survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. Symptoms may include depression, increased use of alcohol consumption, health complications, and decreased self-esteem. Family & Children’s Services can…

Supporting Children All Year: Therapists Answer Questions

We realize the challenge to protect children has never been greater. Many parents now find themselves in an unprecedented situation with a lack of childcare, indefinite school closures, limited employment opportunities and social isolation. Compounded with uncertainty, anxiety, fear and frustration, the financial and emotional stress brought by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to create a…

Talking to Kids About Sexual Abuse

High-profile cases of sexual abuse of children at respected places—the Horace Mann School, Joe Paterno’s locker room at Penn State, the offices of revered pediatrician Melvin Levine, the cloisters of the Catholic Church—serve to illustrate that abuse is very hard to anticipate. “We delude ourselves in to thinking that certain situations are without danger,” says…

How Trauma Changes Genes

We know that children who experience abuse or neglect are “off the charts at risk,” as Dr. Joan Kaufman puts it, for psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety and substance abuse. What’s more, they’re less likely to respond favorably to the treatments that evidence shows work well for other people. And research has shown that children…

The Life of Firestrike

Every child needs a hero. Hurt and abused children need superheroes. Family & Children’s Services Child Abuse and Trauma Services – also known as CATS – leaps giant hurdles to provide hope and healing to nearly 5,000 children each year who have experienced abuse, neglect or trauma. One of CATS’ methods for helping children work…