Recent Posts



Addressing the Roots of Racial Violence

Why does the killing of unarmed blacks continue to happen?" asks political scientist Megan Ming Francis. She makes an urgent case for a new approach to these tragic deaths, explaining that we need to look at the deeper causes of systemic racism rather than settle for easy fixes. Dr. Megan Ming Francis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington where she specializes in the study of American politics, race, and the development of constitutional law. She is particularly interested in the construction of rights and citizenship, black political activism, and the post-civil war South. Born and raised in Seattle, WA, she was educated at Garfield

The Importance of Trauma-Informed Teaching

In a trauma-informed school, the adults in the school community are prepared to recognize and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress. Those adults include administrators, teachers, staff, and parents. In addition, students are provided with clear expectations and communication strategies to guide them through stressful situations. The goal is to not only provide tools to cope with extreme situations but to create an underlying culture of respect and support. Becoming a trauma-informed school requires a layered approach to create an environment with clear behavior expectations for everyone, open communication, and sensitivity to the feelings and emotions of others. Mary C

Psychological Trauma and Its Neurobiological Impacts on Transitional Aged Youth

While the word trauma is typically used in conversation to describe stressful situations that individuals are faced with on an everyday basis, not all stress changes their neurobiology or ability to feel safe in an emotional manner . Contrarily, psychological trauma has been described as chronic traumatic stress that can impact individuals both physically and emotionally, and that affects the brain circuitry. Traumatic experiences that leave people feeling alone, overwhelmed, and unable to carry out their everyday routines can lead to changes in both the structure and function of the brain. Transition age youth are young individuals who range between the ages of 16 to 24. During early to mid

The Neurobiology of Psychological Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

The brain is one of the largest and most complex organs in the human body. It is made up of more than 100 billion nerves that communicate in trillions of synapses. The brain is the command center for the human nervous system. As a response to perceived threat, the brain’s sympathetic nervous system promotes the “fight or flight” response. When the threat is over, the parasympathetic nervous system puts a break and promotes “rest and digest”. These systems can become dysregulated after psychological trauma and in individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). What is PTSD? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration psychological trauma can

©2019 by Erie Coalition for a Trauma Informed Community.
Erie County