#BeTheOne is a rally cry to become the change you wish to see and create a more trauma-informed world across all sectors, all communities. Just as Lincoln’s administrators, staff and health care providers led an effort to radically change their approach to discipline, classroom activities, and even how children access health care, we each have the potential to positively and holistically make an impact in whatever way we can.
By taking action, Lincoln became a promising model for how to break the cycles of poverty, violence and disease that affect families. Despite the upheaval in their home lives, with support from school staff, including a pediatrician and mental health counselors, students at Lincoln now find less destructive ways to cope and have started to find hope for becoming healthy and productive – both now and for the rest of their lives.
If you are a parent, you can #BeTheOne to help educators embrace #trauma-informed methods into the classroom. If you are a mental health practitioner, you can #BeTheOne to inform fellow colleagues about the devastating impact of toxic stress. If you are a young person, you can #BeTheOne to help create an environment of compassion and understanding for friends facing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). By extending this conversation on Twitter and Facebook, Paper Tigers hopes to create an online resource and forum for parents, teachers, educators, students, practitioner, and all those impacted by the film, wanting to take action.
Become trauma informed and educate your staff, parents and community. Here’s a great article in Atlantic Monthly: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/teaching-traumatized-kids/490214/
ACEs impacts all people, all ethnic and socioeconomic levels. Become more observant of your kids and their friends and listen to their conversations. Should a situation arise that needs intervention, take action. Know that you are not a nosey neighbor, become a part of the village.
Screen for ACEs. Conduct an ACEs screening in your practice.
“We screen every young person for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that we know can lead to toxic stress and lifelong problems with health, wellness and learning. We heal children’s brains and bodies by piloting treatments for toxic stress and sharing our findings nationally. We prevent toxic stress by raising awareness among those who can make a difference: from parents and pediatricians to policy makers.” Dr. Nadine Burke Harris at the Center for Youth Wellness.
Rule with compassion and understanding. In the words of a court justice: “I had to realize that I could not beat or discipline “do right” into a kid. When it never worked, I finally realized that I needed to take a deeper look at the kid and try to understand his or her life circumstances and put together a disciplinary plan to really affect change instead of punish.”
Use Paper Tigers to begin your conversations on ACEs. Provide trauma-informed education and strategies.