Addressing Trauma and Building Resilience in Our Communities
Trauma is the emotional and physiological response to a profoundly traumatic experience. There are many causes of trauma, including and not limited to:
- Adverse childhood experiences
- Witnessing loss of life or severe injury
- Seeing or experiencing acts of violence or racism
- Loss of loved ones due to violence or suicide
- Intergenerational poverty
- Food insecurity
As a survivor of a police shooting, The Hear Foundation co-founder Leon Ford has experienced deep trauma first-hand. In his journey to healing, he has become a national voice for addressing mental health and for removing stigmas around discussion and treatment, particularly among communities of color.
“We are prioritizing trauma because to move forward, you first have to recognize the harm that has been done. Trauma shows up in so many different parts of our lives, and when it is compounded, it forces individuals into survival mode. It takes acknowledgement to heal. When you move into the process of healing, you are able to become more empathetic, more compassionate.
Through trauma-focused programming, The Hear Foundation will provide ways to help the community heal from the inside out. In doing so we will create more spaces for collaboration and unification for all people.”
Leon Ford, Co-founder, The Hear Foundation
Together, we can work toward healing
Convenings hosted by The Hear Foundation explore strategies for the following:
- Responding to incidents with trauma-informed care
- Building resilience in individuals and communities
- Reducing the number and severity of traumatic incidents by providing training for police, residents, and co-responders
Future grantmaking will support local initiatives that engage the community, Pittsburgh Police, the Department of Public Safety, and mental health professionals in providing immediate trauma-informed support to individuals and families experiencing traumatic incidents. Grantmaking will also support sustained engagement and connection to longer-term services.
“Trauma is impacting our young people, our families, and public safety professionals in a multitude of ways. From a wellness-based perspective, it’s raising our awareness that groups across our community need to have their wellness needs prioritized. The direct, vicarious, and ongoing nature of their traumatic experiences is necessitating a paradigm shift. It’s our duty as a village to support their healing needs along the way.”
Julius Boatwright, MSW, LSW, Managing Director, Steel Smiling, an “Organization-in-Residence” of Neighborhood Allies