EPIC Blog: Ideas for Trauma-Informed Care in Schools - 4KIDS
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EPIC Blog: Ideas for Trauma-Informed Care in Schools

October 5th, 2023 l Author: Maria Silva

By the time a person is 18 years old, they’ve likely spent over 2,000 days in school. That’s almost 1/3 of life up to that point that has been spent in the school system. Although for most children, school can be a positive experience, for kids and teens that have been through trauma, it’s not uncommon for interactions with teachers to be challenging and for there to be various emotions surrounding exam days, the classroom environment, and many more aspects of the school setting. Nowadays, trauma even goes beyond just our students who have spent time in foster care. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1- 6 youths between the ages of 6 and 17 experience a mental health condition each year.

Below are some ideas you can share with you student’s educators to get them involved in helping to reduce this number and increase students’ positive mental health!

If you interact with children on a daily basis, whether you are a teacher, parent, school staff etc., it’s important to be able to identify any signs of depression or anxiety. This is the first step to be able to advocate for children that need help. Speak up for them when you notice a need, and be aware of their emotions and actions. Resources schools can encourage children to use is to contact their pastor or youth leaders, consult with their counselor or therapist, or, in a crisis, text 741741 when they need support to reach the Crisis Help line. Share this number with children and educate and empower them to use it when needed.

Another important thing that can combat mental health issues is giving ample time outside. Although schools typically offer a short recess to break up the day, it is often too short to reap the benefits children need. Fresh air, play, and a break from learning can enhance a child’s ability to learn in the long run and improve mental health. Schools also should allow for a healthy lunch break every two hours to keep the children fueled and focused. These are such minimal adjustments to the school system that can go a long way!

Schools can also provide training for all the staff members to be able to better understand trauma in children and how it can affect their studies, social lives, and relationships. 4KIDS offers TBRI, EPIC, and Trauma-Informed Care Training taught by our EPIC Clinicians and TBRI Practitioners to help individuals better understand the principles of Connecting, Empowering, and Correcting children from a trauma-based lens. If you or your child’s school is interested in a training, please visit 4KIDS.us/EPIC/Training to learn more! 4KIDS is always here to support and encourage, so never hesitate to reach out, and remember God is with you on this journey.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.” – Psalm 107:28