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Race, Trauma, and Resilience: Addressing Trauma to Support Better Mental Health

Year: 2020

One significant underlying cause of adolescent behavioral and mental health challenges is trauma or adverse childhood events (ACEs) experienced during childhood.  By becoming a trauma informed and responsive state, Massachusetts can take active steps to reduce trauma and promote resilience.  This effort will have an immediate and long-term impact on the mental and physical health of adolescents, particularly for the disproportionate number of youth of color impacted by trauma. This issue brief explores the impact of trauma on mental and physical health, particularly for youth of color; the significant fiscal and human costs of trauma; the potential that evidence-based treatment and the promotion of resilience have for reducing the negative impact of trauma; and the results of two recent interventions implemented by UMass Medical School to address trauma and promote resilience in Massachusetts.