In an effort to provide community members with more resources to address trauma, the Resilience through Caring Connections coalition is hosting a conference at Utah State University next week.
“If we know that we are all going to experience difficulties and extraordinary challenges throughout life, how do we become resilient?” said Esterlee Molyneux, executive director of the Family Place and one of the coalition’s chairs.
Molyneux said the purpose of the conference is to help community members know what they can do to promote resilience in individuals, especially children. The conference will include resources for a variety of groups including parents, educators and medical providers.
“No matter what person in the community comes, they will be able to find a breakout session that speaks to them and goes straight to their heart,” said Shellie Healy, the principal of White Pine Elementary who helped organize the conference.
Healy said she hopes the conference will help address negative mental health stigmas and give people the resources they need to recover from trauma.
In other states, Molyneux said, increased trauma awareness has lead to decreased suicide, anxiety and high school expulsion rates and increased high school graduation rates.
“This is more than something that sounds like a really good idea, but there is research and science behind it that when we are trying to be sensitive, when we are trauma-informed, when we are building resilience with young children, there are significant outcomes that can even mean saving lives,” Molyneux said.
Conference keynote speakers will include Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, retired pro basketball player Gary Wilkinson and Dr. Ed Redd. Registration for the conference is $25. To register or find more information, visit conference.usu.edu/resilience.