Guest Post by Dr. Russell Jones (2015 Speaker)
Dr. Russell Jones, Virginia Tech University
Learn more about Dr. Jones here: http://www.firetraumas.com/
My time in Flint was a true highlight of my year. While I have given hundreds of talks and presentations, I found my experiences both at the University of Michigan-Flint and at the Whiting to be not only unforgettable, but incredibly inspiring. Although the talks by other presenters alone were outstanding, my interactions with the students, teachers, and parents were truly heartwarming. I so look forward to staying involved in the innovative initiative, Gearup2Lead! The primary goal of my talk, as well as my clinical and research efforts for the past three-and-a-half decades, has been to educate children, adolescents, parents, teachers, and the general public about the negative and long-lasting impact of trauma. We now know that traumatic events have the potential of adversely affecting one’s psychological, as well as neurobiological, functioning, making the need for concerted attention to this area vital. Considering the fact that there are scientifically proven strategies to assist those in need, there is no need for any child to be left behind. After the talk, I have had numerous individuals reach out requesting additional information on trauma’s impact. The take-home message from my work is that many obstacles can be overcome. Our research and clinical experience has shown that following accidents, floods, hurricanes, violence, and shootings, many individuals do overcome and become “heroes.” It is not always the actions of a single leader that are most beneficial, but rather the actions of a community. We need to continue to build communities where individuals are willing to reach out to help others.