The 5-6 day community intervention program is designed to aid communities that are experiencing high levels of community trauma: suicides and attempted suicides; community violence; rape; homicides; school violence; alcohol-related deaths; unresolved grief; bullying; lateral violence; etc.
When generational traumas, such as war, genocide, oppression, poverty, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, death or loss of parents or siblings, residential schools, and institutionalization, alcoholism, and substance abuse, are not grieved and healed by individuals, families and communities, the effects of unresolved trauma are carried into the next generation.
Individuals suffer from anniversary dates, cultural identity, low self-esteem, hyper-vigilance and inability to perform healthy relationships. Families have communication breakdown, increased domestic violence, shaming, and sexual abuse, having lost rituals for grieving, celebration, and rights of passage. Isolation builds between family members. Community members begin to isolate from one another and frequently experience increased apathy, substance abuse, trauma and suicide epidemics among the youth. Signs of lateral violence such as family feuds, religious wars, competitiveness, gossip, and bloodism develop between members of the community, furthering the isolation and preventing steps toward healing.
When communities begin to understand the effects of generational trauma, a process of validation and healing can begin. Individuals, families, and communities can begin a process of empowerment and recovery.
Community interventions include:
The Middelton-Moz Institute team, consisting of both an adult team and a youth team, will work with both youth and adults on historical trauma and the underlying causes of the current problems facing the community. Participants work on a community trauma line to help each participant gain an increased awareness of how current or past trauma is affecting their lives today, the resiliency of their culture and/or community and why healing did not take place when each historical trauma or disaster occurred. Community members understand, many for the first time, the pain that has passed down, develop a "cognitive life raft" and begin to exchange stories and ideas for continued community healing.
Our work with youth is designed to empower youth by naming and giving voice to their experiences. Their experiences are validated through art, music, crafts, experiential learning, laughter, fun and support. The intervention intends to help youth figure out ways to survive in their community and schools, while creating a better future for themselves, their community and their children.
Through the course of the intervention, community members begin to link problems facing them today (alcohol and drug addiction, sexual abuse, violence, suicides, emotional abuse, bullying, lateral violence, etc) to unresolved traumas of the past. For instance, the five leading causes of youth suicides and attempts are: abandonment and neglect; sexual abuse; bullying; sexual orientation; and prior suicides or deaths that have not been resolved (1/4 to 1/3 of all family and peers of those who complete suicide, attempt or complete suicide). The major cause of both domestic and community violence is vulnerability and powerlessness from trauma and delayed grief which is bypassed, resulting in rage.
The purpose of the intervention is to:
Aid members of the community, youth, and adults;
Help individuals find their voice in trauma and grief resolution;
Improve communication between community members;
Increase understanding of community trauma; increase support systems;
Empower community members to work together to deal with problems as they happen;
Prevent continued community trauma from passing on to subsequent generations.
To learn more about how the Middelton-Moz Institute can help your community, please contact us today.