Changing Minds: The Campaign to End Childhood Trauma
Each year, nearly 60% of youth are exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities. This short film, inspired by true stories, highlights the story of one such child, and shows how a supportive and caring adult can help a child overcome childhood trauma and exposure to violence.
FUTURES has partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice to create Changing Minds, a national campaign to raise awareness, teach skills, and inspire public action to address a hidden epidemic in America‒children’s exposure to violence and childhood trauma.
Witnessing violence in the home, school, or community can affect children throughout their entire lives. New and evolving scientific research reveals that a child’s positive and negative experiences can literally shape, and reshape, the brain. The more a child is exposed to traumatic events, the more neural connections are created in regions of the brain that involve fear, anxiety, and impulsiveness—while fewer are created in regions that involve reasoning, planning, and behavioral control. The good news is that the young brain is malleable, or “plastic,” and fostering stable, supportive relationships can prevent or even reverse this damage — resulting in lifelong benefits for the child’s learning, behavior, and overall health.
It is vital now to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of children’s exposure to violence and the trauma that may result; motivate adults to be more caring, concerned, and supportive figures to the children around them; and support programs and practices that help to make homes, schools, and communities safer for children and youth. This multi-year campaign will engage teachers, coaches, counselors, nurses and other front-line educators and caregivers on proven ways to help children heal from trauma.
- Educate about the problem of childhood trauma but most importantly on the solutions that exist;
- Advance programs and practices that help to make schools, homes, and communities safer for children and youth; and
- Help grow leadership in various fields (e.g., education, health, community, and justice).
Learn more at www.ChangingMindsNow.org
Overcoming Emotional Trauma: Chad’s Story
Thriving After Childhood Traumatic Stress: Unique’s Story