With an ambitious agenda discussing public policy, racial justice, and the mental health solutions to address current pandemic at multiple levels (e.g., individual, family, and community) the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute's 8th Biennial Trauma Conference, “Addressing Trauma Across the Lifespan: Strategies for Managing Concurrent Pandemics” on September 30 - October 1, 2021 was a definite success.
With nearly 200 attendees from mental health, community organizations, and public government, participants spent two days exchanging information and working collectively to identify and adopt evidence and practice-based strategies for managing three pandemics recognized as having adverse impacts on the U.S. population, COVID-19, structural racism and significantly increased mental health challenges.
Day one offered four fascinating 4-hour workshops featuring a range of experts who provided thought-provoking dialogues and interventions, including the morning workshop Tele-Mental Health, Social Media and Ethical, Legal and Clinical Issues Relevant to Integrating Various Technologies into Clinical Practice. During a highly interactive afternoon workshop, Addressing Race-Based Stress and Trauma, A Clinical Approach to the emphasis was on coping mechanisms and cultural considerations for serving communities of Color impacted by trauma providing necessary and basic information for provider toolboxes.
Day two of the conference opened with our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Stephen B Thomas, and his riveting presentation entitled The Traumatic Colors of COVID-19: Translating the Science of Pandemic Mitigation into Culturally Tailored Community-Based Intervention Designed to Achieve Health Equity. His presentation reminded the audience that historically pandemics and plagues have a way of shifting the course of history, and not always to the benefits of the survivors. Dr. Thomas impressed the audience with innovative community interventions to disrupt the usual methods and make trauma informed care the new norm. Later that afternoon, Dr Diane Borbon highlighted important trauma-related policy milestones aimed at addressing the needs of underserved populations in her rousing presentation Promoting the Needs of Underserved Communities through Trauma-Informed Public Policy: Milestones, Best Practices and the Road Ahead.
These sessions, allowed attendees to walk away with concrete evidence and practice-based solutions for individuals, families and communities dealing with these concurrent pandemics.
We wish to thank everyone who attended, including our speakers, exhibitors and sponsors, who helped make this conference a success. Our next conference will be held on October 20, 2023. Information will be available on our website the Spring of 2023. SAVE THE DATE!