Important efforts by two dissimilar leaders in Wisconsin show emerging attention to the problems caused by childhood and other trauma.
In March, Marquette University President Mike Lovell issued an invitation to community groups to submit proposals to work with the university to address problems of trauma. In November, he had hosted an “Epidemic of Trauma Conference.” Here is an excerpt for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s article.
” Lovell predicts [the proposals are] almost certain to include treatment for neurological trauma — a condition that exists on an epidemic level in Milwaukee, where children in some districts routinely are exposed to homicide, neglect, abuse, violence, incarceration, alcohol and drugs as well as gunfire and police sirens, statistics show. Widespread trauma, in turn, worsens the ongoing social crisis in a city that for decades has defined the national extremes of poverty, unemployment, incarceration, infant mortality and broken homes…”
Click here to read details about his announcement and the problems in Milwaukee.
First Lady Tonette Walker aims to make Wisconsin the first “fully trauma-informed” state in the nation. Her op ed describes progress at the Menominee Nation and her understanding of the harm caused by early trauma. Here is an excerpt from her piece.
“We’ve made significant progress in other areas of our state as well, like in state government. Already, six Wisconsin agencies, including the Department of Health Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Workforce Development, Department of Children and Families, Department of Corrections, and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are implementing trauma-informed Care principles within their interactions with each other, as well as in the services they provide to the people of our state.
Click here to read Walker’s op ed.
UPDATE: The MJS published an article describing an enthusiastic response by a broad spectrum of Milwaukee residents to Lovell’s proposals. Click here to read the article.
Here is an excerpt.
“More than two dozen community organizations have expressed interest in the effort, along with 18 academics. And a wide range of community activists have been attending meetings to learn more and plant the seeds of collaboration.
“There’s tremendous interest in the community,” Mike Lovell said.
Lovell wants to organize a major conference in late September, bring together as many national trauma researchers and local activists as possible, maybe even rent the new Milwaukee Bucks arena as a venue.
“This has got to get really big,” said Franklin Cumberbatch, a member of Lovell’s steering committee and executive at Milwaukee-based Bader Philanthropies.”