For service providers serving children, adolescents and their families, the Stephen Sexton Training Institute fills a gap of information about the prevalence, consequences and effective treatment of trauma in children’s lives. For others involved with children, like school personnel, first responders, and emergency room staff, the Stephen Sexton Training Institute introduces the issue of trauma, its consequences and its treatment. The National Council for Behavioral Health reports that 70 percent of the American adult population has experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives. We have gone from a society that found it difficult to acknowledge, let alone discuss, trauma in the past to our present day when we are beginning to grasp the magnitude and severity of the issue.
The National Council for Behavioral Health goes on to report: “Trauma is now considered to be a near universal experience of individuals with behavioral health problems.” (www.thenationalcouncil.org). We have also come to learn that traumatic childhood experiences are now considered the most basic and long-lasting cause of health risk behaviors, mental illness, social malfunction, suicide, disease, disability, death, and healthcare costs. Because of the staggering statistics and scope of the problem, the prevalence of traumatic events and its consequences in children’s lives may be difficult to understand. Yet the evidence speaks for itself.
Social Services, mental health, child welfare, education, and juvenile justice have been slow to recognize trauma as a frequent and powerfully destructive force. Though more and more attention is being paid to the treatment of trauma, it still remains a largely unknown body of knowledge. Hence, many service providers offer inadequate, if not harmful, treatment of this epidemic. First responders are even less aware of how modifications to their efforts could create a more trauma-informed approach. Here, knowledge of some techniques could immeasurably help a young person immediately alleviate the impact of a traumatic crisis and begin the healing process.
The Stephen Sexton Training Institute takes on this unfortunate situation through training of service providers, studying and providing service to traumatized individuals. The Institute’s staff is focused on facilitating a discussion among providers in order to increase our understanding of trauma and its consequences, and to provide the most effective treatment possible. Training events target both staff internal to Maryville Academy and providers in the wider service community.
As a part of Maryville Academy, the Institute joins a long and illustrious agency history of services to children and adolescents. Through our specific focus we work toward Maryville Academy’s mission to help children and families to reach their fullest potential by empowering intellectual, spiritual, moral, and emotional growth.
Maryville Academy is uniquely qualified to open the Stephen Sexton Institute and take on the task of addressing the epidemic of childhood trauma because of its many year history of helping children who suffered from horrible tragedies. From its origins as a response to the homelessness and devastation caused children by the Chicago fire through its efforts to help maltreated children rekindle their spirits, rebuild their lives, and renew their hopes.
The Institute’s focus on preparing providers to intervene into the aftermath of trauma ultimately and directly benefits the many children and families each provider will assist throughout his/her career. As a result of the Sexton Institute’s efforts providers from social services, mental health, child welfare, education, and juvenile justice and first responders from fire, police, and emergency services will join Maryville Academy in the efforts to “rekindle spirits, and renew hope” of those we serve.
The Stephen Sexton Training Institute provides training experiences:
a) to interested providers from the various systems that serve children, adolescents and their families by sponsoring CEU granting workshops, seminars, and other training events on trauma and its effective treatment. Presenters will be sought from a pool of local, regional, and national experts on the select topic;
b) to staff of Maryville Academy who, at pre-service and in-service training events, at workshops offered to the public, and through electronic dissemination, will be given information about trauma, its consequences and its treatment;
c) to undergraduate and graduate level student affiliates whose knowledge about trauma treatment occurs through field placements and internships at Maryville Academy.
The Sexton Training Institute is a member of the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition and the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For more information contact Cheryl M. Heyden, Institute Director, at (847) 824-1970 or email@example.com.