From Stories of Trauma to Stories of Hope
World Mental Health Day 2020 Panel Discussion
For World Mental Health Day 2020, THRIVEGulu hosted a wonderful panel discussion focused on the power of claiming one’s voice and telling one’s story as a means of healing.
Moderated by THRIVEGulu Executive Director, YANA New England chapter leader & long-time Member Mick Hirsch (M.Div. ’03). Panelists include psychiatrist Dr. Omar Reda, theologian Dr. Natalie Wigg-Stevenson (M.Div. ’05), and THRIVEGulu Country Director Dora Alal Single.
October 10, 2020
Program of interest sponsored by YANA-member-led NGO
Takeaways from Program (contributed by Toddy Turrentine SOM ’80, YANA Regional Group Chair, Fairfield County, CT):
- There is an invisible world of trauma.
- There are cultural differences in how different communities experience trauma.
- Westerners often define trauma as a single event. Generational trauma can be passed on.
- Trauma is not just what happens, but the victim’s interpretation of it.
- This may include feeling stigma and self-loathing, regressing to younger behavior, withdrawal, and fear of “The Other”.
- Perpetrators may have used culture and religion as weapons of war, either taking them away or imposing them.
- Survival includes:
- Not letting others define your trauma
- Taking control of your own narrative in a way that holds meaning.
- Acknowledging the right to your emotions, but redirecting them to pride in your own coping skills, resilience, and hope.