Columbus hosts trauma conference center

Experts at the event will provide advice and help for childhood, adult and community trauma.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Department of Public Safety is hosting a conference to help residents of central Ohio who may be experiencing some kind of trauma.

The conference, titled “Healing Columbus: Awareness, Education & Direction,” will bring together experts from multiple organizations, including the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s STAR Program, Big Lots Behavioral Health Services, and the Center for Safety and Healing at Nationwide Columbus Public Health Children’s Hospital and CARE Coalition.

Trauma is defined as events or circumstances experienced by a person as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and having lasting adverse effects on the mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual health of the person.

Whether it’s the sudden change the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to people in central Ohio, the violence in the city of Columbus, or personal experiences like abuse and grief, many are going through the lives in some level of shock.

“I believe there is a direct link between being a trauma-informed community and reducing violence,” said Director of Public Safety Robert Clark. “Understanding trauma is a form of de-escalation. And that’s something our community desperately needs right now.

Experts at the event will provide advice and help for childhood, adult and community trauma. City officials describe the event as a first of its kind.

“We believe that the better individuals understand trauma and its impact on our communities, the more resilient and supportive we can be with each other,” said Susan Coffey of the Columbus CARE Coalition. “We can shift the conversation from ‘What’s wrong with this person?’ to ‘What happened to them and what did they do to survive?’

The conference will be held May 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith at 1200 Brentnell Avenue. Residents can register for the event here.

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