Faith community nurses and health ministers are a particularly important part of the healthcare system, addressing needs that go beyond physical to include spiritual needs as well.

Before this discussion, I hope you’ll take a moment to watch Mr. Rogers’s Goodbye, in honor of 50 years of Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood:

One of the reasons that Mr. Rogers has such an enduring and loving legacy is that he reached out to children with understanding. Love and human connection is essential for healthy minds in healthy kids, leading to healthy adults.

You can act as an advocate for the little ones, encouraging parents and communities to provide moments of quiet, to create quite spaces, and to speak in kind, gentle words with themselves and each other.

Dr. Robert Anda, co-investigator of the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), says childhood trauma is the nation’s No. 1 public health problem. The ACE Study – the largest public health study you never heard of – shows that childhood trauma is very, very common. (ACE surveys in 22 states now echo the results.) And this childhood adversity causes violence, including family violence, as well as the adult onset of chronic disease and mental illness.

Strengthening policies and improving practices within our faith community organizations also goes a long way to address the needs of children, youth, adults and families affected by trauma. Trauma Informed Oregon is an organization working to provide our NW community with resources to strengthen the cultural landscape for children and adults who have been affected by trauma.  They provide resources and information that may be directly useful to those with lived experience, including a number of centers in Oregon that provide support to trauma survivors as well as publications, tip sheets, websites, suggested reading and other materials.

To learn more about well-being for children and what adults can do to strengthen the environment for children, visit these websites:
Heather Simko
Executive Director