When traumatization occurs due to experiences of racism it is sometimes referred to as racial trauma. Racial trauma can result from acts and experiences of racism such as workplace discrimination or hate crimes.  It can also be the result of an accumulation of many less overt occurrences, such as, everyday discrimination and micro-aggressions. Regardless of whether these racial acts are overt or not, they are traumatic to the victim of these experiences.

Watching the news right now can be overwhelming for both children and adults. The world can feel like a very unstable and unsafe place.

Understanding how to cope with traumatic racial events is important for mental health and overall wellness.

Understanding how to talk to your family and children about what is going on in the world is important for mental health and overall wellness.

Here’s some resources we’ve put together for both adults and kids:

Resources for Adults & Kids:

Resources for kids that celebrate diversity:

For cultural diversity:

How diversity makes us stronger:

Books with Protagonists of Color

A 2018 study by the School Library Journal showed that 50% of all characters in children’s books were white. 27% were animals. Populating your child’s bookcase with books featuring people of color as protagonists is an important step in combating the narrative of white domination. Here are a few of our favorites!

Preschool

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. A classic tale of joy and discovery in fresh snow.
  • The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena. Nana shows her grandson the city as they travel by bus.
  • I Am Enough by Grace Byers. The main character celebrates herself in this poetic picture book.

Grades K-2

  • Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. Jabari is scared to jump from the high diving board. This book helps kids understand how to confront and deal with fear.
  • Princess Hair by Sharee Miller. A beautiful, joyous celebration of all girls’ hairstyles and hair textures.
  • The Katie Woo series by Fran Manushkin. Early rider chapter books featuring a stylish and spunky heroine in relatable adventures.

Grades 3-6

  • The Birchbark House series by Louise Erdich follows an Ojibwe family through Minnesota in the mid-late 1800s.
  • The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon. A sweet story of friendship and adventure. 
  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. A Newberry-Medal winning novel about an orphan’s search for home.

Grades 6 and up

  • Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor
  • For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J. Lockington. A black girl in a white family finds her voice.
  • Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. An award-winning piece of historical fiction that tells the story of a Mexican migrant farmworker in the 1930s.

Podcasts

  • About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge  (4.8 stars)
  • The Diversity Gap  (5 stars)
  • What Matters  (5 stars)
  • POD Save the People  (5 stars with 6.7K ratings)
  • You’re Pretty for a Podcast

Apps

  • The Safe Place – on Google play and in the App Store    Minority Mental Health app
  • Liberate Meditation – on Google play and in the App Store   #1 meditation app for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community

A Raw and Authentic Story

Join us as Jesaira L Glover, MA, APC, NCC, CPC, shares her story, “I Am Not My Hair”, a raw and authentic sharing from a member of the black community. Glover focuses on the physical and emotional effects of those suffering from Racial Trauma or Race-Based Traumatic Stress in today’s society:

How can Georgia HOPE help? 

If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, mental illness, drug and alcohol addictions, an eating disorder, or just want to talk to a professional right now with everything going on, you don’t have to go through this alone. Georgia HOPE has virtual, online, programs, so that you can get the support you need.

We are currently providing Mental Health and Substance Use services throughout the state of Georgia via TeleMental Health. We offer self-pay options as well as insurance coverage.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in services, you can submit a referral online to us to start the first steps or call us at 706-279-0405.

If you’re interested in learning more about our services, please contact us here.

We are all in this together. Stay well! #HOPEisHere

What Is a Traumatic Event?

A traumatic event is a scary, dangerous, or violent event that possess a threat to a child’s life. Witnessing a traumatic event that threatens life or physical security of a loved one can also be traumatic. This is particularly important for young children as their sense of safety depends on the perceived safety of those around them.

Traumatic experiences can bring out strong emotions and physical reactions that can persist long after the event. Children may feel scared, helpless or overwhelmed.

Even though adults work hard to keep children safe, dangerous events still happen. This danger can come from outside of the family (such as a natural disaster, car accident, school shooting, or community violence) or from within the family, such as domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse, or the unexpected death of a loved one.

What Experiences Might Be Traumatic?

  • Bullying
  • Family or community violence
  • Physical, sexual, or psychological abuse and neglect
  • Natural and technological disasters
  • Sudden or violent loss of a loved one
  • Serious accidents or life-threatening illness
  • Military family-related stressors (e.g., deployment, parental loss or injury)

Prevalence of Traumatic Exposure & Symptoms

In a nationally representative survey of 12- to 17-year-old youth, 8 percent reported a lifetime prevalence of sexual assault, 17 percent reported physical assault, and 39 percent reported witnessing violence. Among 536 elementary and middle school children surveyed in an inner city community, 30 percent had witnessed a stabbing and 26 percent had witnessed a shooting Among middle and junior high school students in an urban school system, 41 percent reported witnessing a stabbing or shooting in the past year. (source)

In a community sample of older adolescents, 14.5 percent of those who had experienced a serious trauma developed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). A recent review of research on children exposed to specific traumas found wide ranges in rates of PTSD: 20 percent to 63 percent in survivors of child maltreatment, 12 percent to 53 percent in the medically ill. 5 percent to 95 percent in disaster survivors. Based upon data from a variety of sources, a conservative annual cost of child abuse and neglect is an estimated $103.8 billion, or $284.3 million per day (in 2007 values). http://www.nctsn.org/resources/topics/facts-and-figures https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources//impact_of_complex_trauma.pdf

Things to look for with traumatized kids:

  • Anxiety, fear & worry about safety and others
  • Changes in behavior
  • Discomfort with or avoiding feelings
  • Trouble with trust and perceptions of others
  • Over- or under-reacting to bells, physical contact, doors slamming,
  • sirens, sudden movements
  • Repetitive thoughts and comments about death or dying
  • Heightened difficulty with authority, redirection, or criticism

Things to Remember with Traumatized Kids :

  • Be aware of BOTH those youth who act out AND those who are quiet.
  • Anniversaries of the event or media reports may act as reminders to
    the adolescent, causing a recurrence of symptoms, feelings, and
    behaviors.

The Importance of Relationships:

“Trauma and our response to it cannot be understood outside the context of human relationships. Whether people have survived an earthquake or have been repeatedly sexually abused, what matters most is how those experiences affect their relationships – to their loved ones, to themselves and to the world….As a result, recovery from trauma and neglect is also all about relationships – rebuilding trust, regaining confidence, returning to a sense of security and reconnecting to love….Healing and recovery are impossible – even with the best
medications and therapy in the world – without lasting, caring connections to others.” – Bruce Perry (The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog, pp. 231-232, emphasis added)

Things to Remember:

  • Healing from trauma is best done in the context of relationships.
  • So the best thing you can do is to be there, listen, and support them.
  • Take care of yourself!
  • If you notice that you feel overwhelmed or triggered by what you’re hearing,
    ask for help!
  • Don’t try to do it all on your own.
  • Referrals to professionals can be helpful supplements to the relationships you
    have with these youth.
  • Take a break!

What Resources Are Available?

Trauma is real but it doesn’t have to secure a child’s fate.

Resources available in Georgia

  • Community-based counseling
    • Community Service Boards (CSB)
    • Private Providers (i.e. Georgia HOPE)
    • Care Management Entities (CME)
    • Types: CORE, DFCS-contracted, IFI, wrap-around
  • Private Practice Providers
  • Child Advocacy Centers
  • Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners
  • Medical Doctors (Pediatricians)

Example of Community Interventions – Special Programs at Georgia HOPE:

Types of Services

  • Individual Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Individual Skills-building (i.e., CSI)
  • Parent Training
  • Medication Management
  • Certified Peer Specialist (CPS)

Great Resources Available to You:

Georgia HOPE is here for you and your family during, always. Whether it’s providing tips through our blog and social media channels or online family therapy. If there is anything we can do to help you and your family, please feel free to reach out to us! HOPE is here.