Wediko Blog

Grappling with complex trauma: Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and the build-up of multiple, violent event

Posted in: Blog, Trauma  |  By:  | 

The deaths of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and too many others have touched the nation. The traumatic impact comes from the deaths themselves, the justice system outcomes, the varied reactions to these deaths, and the community responses.

Protests have taken place across the country, including several in Wediko’s home cities of New York City and Boston around the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

These uprisings expose the pain associated with complex trauma resulting from racism and violence.

“Complex trauma” describes exposure to multiple traumatic events and has wide-ranging impact.[1] It is the build-up of these multiple ongoing traumas that makes them complex and difficult to unravel. Viewing these multiple cases of violence and subsequent community responses as isolated incidences would underestimeate or even discount the intricacies of trauma and our nation’s legacy of racial injustice.

Issues of this nature are difficult to grapple with and conversations are tough to navigate. An organization made up of mental health clinicians, teachers, and community supports, we regularly support children and families with trauma-informed care. In this case, Wediko’s staff members are in a unique, and sometimes difficult, position of experiencing our own reactions while helping others to process their experiences. We publish this today as we work through the complexity of these events and the history that has given rise to them.

Our hearts and minds go out to those who have been directly impacted and all of us who are grappling with finding our footing and next steps to address this national trauma.

[1] http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma

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