On October 23rd and 24th, Pressley Ridge brought together more than 150 national and regional mental health professionals invested in the advancement of trauma-informed care for the 2019 Building Connections and Hope for the Future Trauma Summit. Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, renowned children’s mental health and trauma expert, served as the keynote speaker.
During the two day summit, participants shared information, explored successful strategies and engaged in a deep dialogue on sustaining hope for those who have experienced significant adversity and trauma. Day one explored innovative practices and featured a two-part keynote presentation from Dr. Perry that focused on how trauma interrupts human development and what therapists can do to help children who have experienced trauma.
Michelle McMurray, MSW also discussed her personal experiences surrounding mental health and culture and how it has led her to a compassionate pursuit of system change. She spoke of her efforts to improve access to high-quality physical and mental health care for low-income and racial and ethnic minority populations and to strengthen small, community-based nonprofits.
Dr. Perry and Ms. McMurray were featured in a panel discussion around trauma-informed care and future action, which also included Walter Smith, Jr., PhD, founder of The Western Pennsylvania Family Center and former executive director of Family Resources, a child abuse treatment and prevention organization in Pittsburgh, PA; and Dr. Dennis Daley, PhD, who most recently served as Senior Clinical Director of Substance Use Services, Behavioral Health Integration Division, UPMC Insurance Division.
On the second day, summit participants built on their collaborative vision of what trauma-infused care means and discussed ways to act on their vision.
Trauma and adversity have been shown to directly correlate with an increase in addiction, systematic racism, poverty and poor mental health. As a leader in trauma-informed care, Pressley Ridge continuously seeks to improve the services we offer to children and families impacted by adversity. The goal of this summit was to create a shared power that will advance policy and practice from trauma-informed to trauma-infused institutions.
“Our long history of serving children and families affected by trauma has led us toward infusing trauma-informed practices into everything we do. We are privileged to be able to bring together our region’s leading social service providers along with national experts to collaborate and create communities that thrive,” said Susanne Cole, President and CEO of Pressley Ridge.
Dr. Perry is highly-regarded for having developed the Neurosequential Model, which is a developmentally-informed, biologically-respectful approach to working with at-risk children and their families that has revolutionized the trauma-informed community. Pressley Ridge is in the final stages of certification as a Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics flagship site through the ChildTrauma Academy.