The city hosted the first-ever conference on injuries to help families identify injuries and find solutions.

Columbus, Ohio – The first-ever conference on trauma aimed at helping young people was held Saturday by the Columbus Police Department.

Trauma is an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that an individual has experienced as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening. This can have a lasting adverse effect on our mental, physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being.

For Columbus City Public Safety Director Robert Clark, this is due to the loss of parents.

“My father was killed when I was 13. The man who committed the murder was never prosecuted,” Clark said. “I suffered this trauma with me in my teens and young years.”

For others, it stemmed from social problems.

“These are police issues. Affordable housing issues,” said Londale Towns, a mental health advocate.

Experts from the STAR (Stress Trauma and Sustainability) program at Wexner Medical Center, Ohio State University, Big Lots Behavioral Health Services and the Center for Safety and Health at the National Children’s Hospital, and the CARE Coalition (Community, Action, Sustainability and Empowerment) Columbus Public Health. offered information, guidance and assistance on childhood injuries, adult injuries and community injuries.

According to the organizers, the consequences of the injury can last for years.

“When you get hurt and even start to normalize that injury, you start acting in ways that hurt yourself, hurt your friends and family, your community, schools and workplace,” Clark said.

Part of this injury is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Institutes of Health, children who have been quarantined are more likely to suffer from acute stress disorders and grief. Up to 30% of children who have been at a social distance experience post-traumatic stress disorder.

Townes said his son was no different.

“Before this pandemic he was very happy, very friendly, he spent too much time in the house. After Covid I started to see him turn into an introvert,” he said.

Social workers at the National Children’s Hospital say talking to your child can change the outcome.

“Ask them what’s going on, how they feel, how they can help me make it a topic,” said Shari Unkafer, director of Big Lots Behavioral Health Services.

She said the main sources of injury among Columbus’ children are abuse, pandemics and violence in society.

Mental Health Resources from the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Service:

  • Support for school health tools: This free toolkit, developed by the Ohio Department of Education, provides support to students, families, teachers, administrators, and communities to help respond to the mental health problems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ohio Department of Insurance: ODI has many web resources to help Ohio residents understand their mental health benefits when it comes to insurance. The department also has employer tools.
  • Ohio Veterans Service Department and Ohio National Guard offer resources for military members, veterans and their families and Veterans Crisis Line 1.800.273.8255 (Click 1).
  • National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI): In Mental Health Month in 2022, NAMI will expand the message Together for mental health and use this time to unite our voices to advocate for mental health and access to care through the NAMI blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media participation and national events.
  • Mental Health of America (MHA): To promote Mental Health Month, MHA has released Fr. Back to basics tools with a variety of informational and informational resources that people and communities can use to promote well-being.
  • Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation: OSPF works to reduce the stigma of suicide by promoting evidence-based prevention strategies and raising awareness of the link between suicide and mental illness, alcohol, drug abuse and other issues.

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