I am part of a Complex Trauma Treatment Affiliates Group this information was shared during our meeting yesterday and it is quire relevant. Sharing some resources that may be helpful. I am reposting the entire message as there are some really fabulous resources here.
Info was compiled by Ritchie J. Rubio, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist Director of Practice Improvement and Analytics Children, Youth, and Families System of Care Behavioral Health Services | San Francisco Department of Public Health 1380 Howard St, Rm. 527a, San Francisco, CA 94103
“I resonate with Dr. Farahmand's sentiments that it's truly difficult to feel and be well at these times. In the midst of continuing to work through this COVID-19 crisis, the events of the past week make us realize that “We are (also) living in a racism pandemic (Shullman, APA president)." From the racial confrontation in Central Park to the deadly shooting of jogger Ahmaud Arbery; to acts of police violence resulting in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other African Americans; to the protests these brutal deaths have provoked in cities around the country. These devastating and heart-wrenching events are taking a heavy psychological toll, and likely perpetuating racial trauma, on our Black/African American community; and the Black/African American children, youth, and families we serve.
As behavioral health professionals, we are in a unique position to contribute to the efforts of interrupting and stopping racism through the work we do with our children and youth clients. To echo Dr. Bennett's (SFDPH Health Equity Director) statement, "There can be no spectators. Addressing racism is a core part of everyone's work." Our course of action is to be both culturally competent and culturally responsive. We need to deeply reflect and address the impact of these prejudicial incidents on families we serve especially our Black/African-American clients and other ethnic minority clients. As best practice, we need to initiate and facilitate conversations on race, racism, and racial injustice; and potentially intervene with racial trauma in our clients. I encourage using Perry's (2013) 3 R's model as a trauma-informed developmental lens in navigating this work.
Regulate. As you help your clients through a variety of mindfulness, breathing, distress tolerance, grounding, emotion regulation, and self-care activities; model regulation by engaging in your own self-care. A couple of these might help you and some of your clients:
Relate. Find opportunities and create spaces to reflect and validate the emotions and experiences of your clients with these recent tragedies, where they can process their anger, sadness, distress, grief, and trauma. Especially for your clients experiencing racial trauma in light of these events, find ways to convey to them, "I see you, I value you and I support you."
Reason. Reflect on these questions and cultivate in yourself deliberate practice - to proactively integrate race, racism, and racial injustice conversations in your work with children/youth clients and their families.
Why is it important to talk with children (and youth) about what happened to George Floyd and other incidents of police brutality or racism in the news?
Does COVID-19 warrant avoiding these conversations, given many children (and youth) are already struggling with fear, anxiety and uncertainty?
How do I start these conversations and how does that change depending on the age of their children?
Should these conversations be different depending on the race of the child?
Please find below a couple of resources, that help address these questions, which you can integrate in your work with children and youth clients; and also encourage families you work with to engage in these conversations.
Supporting Kids of Color in The Wake of Racialized Violence Part 1 and Part 2 (by Embracerace)
Racial Stress and Self-care: Parent Tip Tool (from APA's RESilience). This describes caregivers' potential reactions to racial stress or trauma; the impact of racial stress on parenting; and strategies to deal with racial stress and practice self-care.
Engaging My Child: Parent Tip Tool (from APA's RESilience). Includes psychoeducation for caregivers on why they shouldn't avoid these conversations, and developmentally responsive strategies on how to engage in Racial Ethnic Socialization (RES) .