On March 19, 2019, Women United in Philanthropy (WUP) hosted an educational panel discussion Discovering Resilience: How Trauma Impacts Children and Adults with over 100 people in attendance. The discussion was moderated by Alicia Lenahan, President of Piedmont CASA and Vice Chair of WUP’s Program & Events Committee. The panel featured several local experts on trauma and resilience: Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent, Charlottesville City Schools; Dr. Kristen Jamison, Founder and Director, the Loop Center for Social and Emotional Development; Stephanie Carter, Principal, Buford Middle School; and Ingrid Ramos, LPC, Bienestar & Resilience Programs Director, The Women’s Initiative.
Panelists encouraged audience members to advocate for trauma-informed classrooms, as well as mental health services that are affordable and accessible. Many programs and services have waiting lists, and the number of child mental health therapists is too low for the need. Trauma is a universal experience, and both children and adults can recover from trauma more quickly with the appropriate resources and supports. Panelists shared that resilience can be taught, and discussed the implementation of trauma-informed schools and classrooms.