During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in overall stress and general mental health challenges. In addition, the pandemic has been associated with an increased range of traumatizing influences on children and youth, including elevated stress, separation from family and friends, observing stress and anxiety in others, elevated abuse and neglect, and bereavement issues related to lost loved ones. This training will focus on how trauma from a variety of backgrounds can be addressed by transforming school mental health through Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and using a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework to create a continuum of supports. Specifically, the training will cover what schools can do at the universal level (tier 1) for all students and adults in the building, including strong positive school climate and social-emotional learning programs along with trauma-related strategies such as the 4 R’s of trauma-informed approaches (Realize, Recognize, Respond and Resist re-traumatization) and Psychological First Aid (PFA). Following universal strategies, more targeted strategies at the secondary level (tier 2) and tertiary level (tier 3) will be provided, focused on cognitive-behavioral strategies such as Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT).
Imad Zaheer, Ph.D