News & Media

Yamhill Community Care Seeks to Expand Conversation Regarding Childhood Stress

The Raising of America: Wounded Places will be screened as part of its Family Resiliency Community Conversation series

McMinnville, Ore. — PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) isn’t just a syndrome that affects combat-scarred soldiers. Too many of our children are also showing serious effects of chronic stress resulting from living in concentrated poverty and unstable homes.

Children suffering from PTSD are often misinterpreted as “acting out” or “being defiant.” The traditional response to this behavior is harsh discipline, suspension, or expulsion—which tend to compound the child’s stress. But there are also providers in education, medicine, and criminal justice who are blazing a new model of trauma-informed care. Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with you?” they ask, “What happened to you?” The focus then shifts to helping the traumatized individual move toward healing. This simple change can be transformative—for those suffering from trauma, for neighborhoods, and even the providers themselves.

Communities implementing trauma-informed care are highlighted in “The Raising of America: Wounded Places,” a documentary exploring how the symptoms of chronic trauma manifest in the daily lives children.

To engage leaders and discover solutions, Yamhill Community Care is presenting a series of films that explore ways we can strengthen and support our children and families, followed by a facilitated discussion about the films’ topics. Donations for each event will benefit a different local organization that addresses resiliency in our community.

The next event in this series will be a screening of “The Raising of America: Wounded Places.” The film details the effects of childhood trauma on later life and shows how healing can take place within a community. Wounded Places travels to Philadelphia and Oakland where a long history of disinvestment and racial exclusion have ravaged entire neighborhoods and exposed children to multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). We meet families and some remarkable young people who have been traumatized not just by shootings, but fear, uncertainty and a sense of hopelessness.

The viewing of this 42-minute video will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Peg Miller (Pediatric Hospitalist at Willamette Valley Medical Center), Brandy McIntosh (Program Manager at Henderson House), and Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara, Psy.D (Research Associate Professor and Licensed Psychologist at Portland State University).

“Research has made it clear that exposure to chronic stress in early childhood affects the biology of the developing brain, which can have profound consequences on health, education and behavior over a lifetime,” says Dr. Peg Miller. She urges the community to get involved by "minimizing these exposures and at the very least recognizing risks early, and instituting appropriate interventions.”

“The Raising of America: Wounded Places” will begin at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 29 at the Linfield Ice Auditorium.This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. Please visit bit.ly/woundedplaces to reserve a seat. Donations made during the event will be accepted on behalf of Juliette’s House, an independent, nonprofit, medically-based child abuse intervention center that serves families in Yamhill, Polk, and Tillamook Counties.

For information about this story, contact Jenn Richter, Early Learning Program Administrator, at 503-376-7421 or jrichter@yamhillcco.org.

Top 5 Health Articles