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September 2020 CTIPP CAN Call: Trauma-Informed Climate Resilience

Building Community-Based and Population-Level Mental Wellness and Resilience with Janet Pozmantier and Bob Doppelt


SUMMARY: The CTIPP CAN September call focused on the connection between trauma-informed programs and one of the most pressing issues facing our world today -- Climate Change. We know that the disasters that are and will continue to be created by climate change increase the level of trauma in affected populations.

The first speaker on the September call, Janet Pozmantier, described a program she led in Houston following Hurricane Harvey to prepare schools to effectively deal with the increase in trauma and thus the increase in acting-out behavior students bring with them when they return to school after a disaster. The program involved providing trauma-informed training, in person or online, to almost every teacher in the Houston School District before the students returned after Harvey. The feedback from the teachers a year after school reopened confirmed that preparing teachers for the trauma that follows disasters gives them the tools they need to reduce problems and is money well spent. Attached are three attachments that supported her presentation.

The second speaker, Bob Doppelt, described the national initiative his organization, the International Transformational Resilience Coalition, has launched to prepare the entire country for the trauma that will impact everyone as a result of the disasters climate change is and will increasingly create. The trauma caused by climate change has the potential to harm all of us, so we must come together to form community in order to support one another.

The initiative involves drafting legislation for Congress to consider that would fund local community wellness coalitions with responsibility for putting into place programs in their community to help build the resilience needed to overcome the trauma that climate change will cause. Bob provided a draft of the legislation and described the steps they are taking to obtain Congressional support for the proposed legislation.

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