On Thursday – October 14, 2021 – in the middle of the day, in the morning, in the evening, and at night, participants from Southeast Asia, Africa, and the US gathered on Zoom to take part in the inaugural Harper Hill Global “Triumph Over Trauma” (TOT) event.
These organizers came together searching for a new or better way to help a world in need of healing. Each brought their circumstance and passions to the trauma-informed counseling summit.
Joan Gillece, Ph.D., Director of NASMHPD Center for Innovation in Behavioral Health Policy and Practice, began the session with how trauma-informed care is different from how most mental health treatment is conducted.
So much is invested in controlling the behavior of people with mental illness. Instead, we should look for the meaning behind those behaviors.
Panelist Dr. Brian R. Sims spoke about the biological effects of trauma. In childhood, trauma affects the brain differently than when an adult brain is subjected to trauma.
However, the brain can be changed. Its neuroplasticity allows for “plastic surgery” on brain structure through counseling, medical intervention, and spiritual practices.
Understanding that humans are mindful, physical, and spiritual beings, the last speaker on the TOT panel, Charryse N. Wright, presented a Christian biblical consideration of trauma-informed care.
She preached, “The bible is a trauma story wrapped in God’s love.” The book has stories of natural disasters, violence – murder and rape, medical illness, patriarchy, police brutality, and mental anguish. God knows about trauma and its effects.
The Christian Bible also shows how to help trauma survivors.
In the story of Thomas, a disciple searching for the authentic, Jesus shows us how to help those in crisis – mental, physical, or spiritual.
There is much need for healing in countries, states, cities, communities, and individual lives. Current methods and institutions are not meeting all the demands.
The “Triumph Over Trauma” (TOT) event presented how churches could be places of healing for everyone who is hurting. Trauma-informed, peer-to-peer groups are a way to do that. And no one needs to have a degree as a counselor, social worker, or minister.
Several TOT participants committed to starting trauma-informed peer-to-peer groups in their communities. Survivors will be educated and empowered to heal themselves and one another. As more men and women are healed, they will be educated and empowered to continue their own healing and the healing of others.
Inspired by the work begun by and for women who’ve suffered sexual violence in eastern DRCongo, “Triumph Over Trauma” training is helping our world overcome the deep traumas that come from racism, sexism, homophobia, violence, and abuse. Then people can grow into the fullness of beloved belonging.
When you contribute to Harper Hill Global, you invest in sending out healing words. Words of peace, justice, dignity, and health. Your voice is amplified as we speak up for parts of the human family who are hurting. You speak truth to power, and you become empowered.
Give to support the good work of Harper Hill Global – to provide healing to the world.
Beginning one person at a time. From one will come many!
“I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.” Maya Angelou
Let us do good today!