Sandy Hook resident Sophfronia Scott never asked to have these conversations, but since the shooting that left 20 students and six educators dead, they follow her. Like when she tells a person from out of town that she's from Sandy Hook.
"There's that stunned silence, and they say, 'Oh. Oh, those poor people. And how are you doing?'" said Scott. "I will tell them right away, because I know they want to ask, and if anything, I know they are afraid to ask. So I will say to them, 'Yes, I'm from Sandy Hook. Yes, my son attends the school. Yes, he was in the building.'"
The discussion after last year's Newtown shootings was dominated by two topics: gun control and mental health. Many people focused on possible illnesses of the shooter, but there’s another side to the mental health discussion. In the aftermath of a tragedy, communities need help healing.
The mother of a child killed in the Newtown school shootings spoke to staff at Connecticut Children's Medical Center Tuesday morning. Nelba Marquez-Greene was a featured speaker during a lecture on child traumatic stress and PTSD.
From Faith Middleton: I'm featuring New York psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein's fascinating new book, The Trauma of Everyday Life, because it explains the big pay-off for learning to notice the small and big traumas we all experience daily in an unpredictable world. By comprehending these traumas, he says, we permit their release, which leads to less stress and a greater sense of feeling fully alive. Dr. Epstein is a Harvard trained psychiatrist with a private practice in New York City. He's interested in the interface of psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophy.
I'm featuring New York psychiatrist Dr. Mark Epstein's fascinating new book, The Trauma of Everyday Life, because it explains the big pay-off for learning to notice the small and big traumas we all experience daily in an unpredictable world. By comprehending these traumas, he says, we permit their release, which leads to less stress and a greater sense of feeling fully alive. Dr. Epstein is a Harvard trained psychiatrist with a private practice in New York City. He's interested in the interface of psychotherapy and Buddhist philosophy.
Ten-year-old Joey Smith shared a celebratory high-five with Heather Kunkel, a mental health professional who was visiting the boy’s Thomaston home. “Things are great, spectacular even,” he said, as the two chatted at the kitchen table.
It’s a dramatic turnaround for Joey who met Kunkel when she was summoned to Thomaston Center School because he had threatened to harm himself. Now Joey, who has autism, is back at school with a modified curriculum to suit his individual needs and his parents have access to an educational advocate and community resources.
Pressure is building on the military to change its culture from within after an alarming Pentagon report estimates 26,000 servicemembers were sexually assaulted last year-- President Obama calls these crimes “shameful and disgraceful.” Another layer to this problem is that very few of these assaults are actually reported. Now federal lawmakers including Connecticut’s Senator Richard Blumenthal are supporting bills to change how the military prosecutes these cases so victims no longer fear retaliation
Waterbury police are collaborating with mental health professionals in a pilot program that aims to reduce traumatic stress in children. The program is meant to provide support to children after the arrest of a parent or caregiver.
After Newtown, school nurses and teachers have been asking for training to identify the early signs of trauma in children. The Child Health and Development Institute held two training sessions last week for school personnel in Connecticut with several more planned in the following weeks.
Joining us this morning is Dr. Robert Franks, a trauma expert and Vice-President of The Child Health and Development Institute.
Connecticut is host to hundreds of war memorials and monuments dating back all the way back to the Civil War. These memorials are usually very literal - depictions of heroic figures or commemorations of the war dead. Or they are truly monumental: points of civic pride meant to be gathering places for the community. But over time, memorials have grown increasingly conceptual and abstract, and are often a touchstone for controversy.