For almost a year now, our world has been a scary and unpredictable place. At the least, it’s been an unsettling time for even those of us in the most stable environments. At most, for those in our community who weren’t in a stable environment, to begin with, the last year has been that much more unsettling and traumatic.
However, the first step is awareness, the second is acceptance. The more we can accept that the last year has been hard on everyone in our community and acknowledge the impact and trauma it has caused for many, the farther we travel on the path to moving beyond the impacts of this pandemic.
As a therapist working with children and youth in the state foster care system, I see firsthand every day the lasting impact traumatic experiences have on children but also the hope that comes from helping them talk through these feelings, equipping them with the tools they need to move past that trauma and heal.
Healing comes in many different forms from movement – yoga or other exercise – meditation or mindfulness practice, and professional therapy. At Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) we know that in order to heal from trauma we must come together with our shared experiences and address trauma as a family and as a community.
We can all help each other. We can listen to those in our community who are hurting or processing what the last year has meant, we can help others build social ties in our community by simply saying “hi” to friendly faces we pass on the street.
The families that walk through our doors have faced trauma, and we provide a space for them to heal. Through music, art, connection, and evidence-based therapy, we work alongside families to equip them with skills to handle past trauma, today’s challenges, and healing tools to equip the next generation.
2021 is providing us with new opportunities. We must remain intentional about unifying as a community, as a nation, and doing our part to show others grace and take time to personally heal from past traumatic events.
As a community, we are hurting, but as a community, we can also heal.
If you are looking for resources on healing, our community center doors are open. More information about our Family Support Center and other programs can be found at our website, cydc.org.
Ryan Horn is a Therapist at Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC), an organization whose mission is to protect children, empower families and prepare youth for adulthood by providing a safe environment, educational support, and career readiness in collaboration with families and community partners.