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“Trauma surrounds us all.”

What is Trauma?

Imagine a seven-year-old wandering down a dusty, gravel road alone. It is evening and he starts to run. The sound of bombs explodes into the distance and rocks and debris sputter across the skyline.

The child survives, barely, but he is never the same.

Now, imagine a child hiding in her closet every evening when her father arrives. She is shaking, hearing shattered glass, slammed doors, and screams downstairs. The young girl slowly crawls out of her closet when the noise pauses.

According to the American Psychological Association, both of these children experienced trauma. Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, an act of violence, or a natural disaster. Generally, an individual experiences trauma when they are exposed to physical or emotional harm.

Suffering from abandonment from a distant parent, poverty, or unexpected job loss are all common examples of trauma. Even if it is hard to think quickly about an event in your life where you have suffered from trauma, it is impossible to be disconnected from someone who can. In fact, according to the National Council on Wellbeing, 70% of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives. Trauma surrounds us all.

Manifestations of Trauma

According to many researchers and scientists, trauma is stored in the body and manifests in the form of physical symptoms like anxiety, headaches, muscle tension, and pain. Trauma also appears in emotional and psychological responses like anger and flashbacks. Broadly, trauma is a response that can be experienced throughout the entire body and mind and is a risk factor for unhealthy coping mechanisms which can further bodily and emotional harm.

Trauma in the Hampton Roads area

Like many areas, Hampton Roads is not free of circumstances leading to trauma. From food deserts in Portsmouth to homelessness in Virginia Beach, trauma is impacting our community. In fact, the number of individual experiencing homelessness throughout the region in 2022 were 30% higher than in 2021, according to some figures.

Why Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care is an approach to providing services that are mindful of an individual’s current or past experiences of trauma. Hearts Full of Grace is committed to facilitating relationships and creating enriching and informative trauma-informed programs to provide the most effective and intentional solutions to those in need.

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