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Organization seeks to help traumatized kids — by helping those around them

By Natalie sad childDraper | Feb. 8, 2017

A new project aimed at strengthening relationships around children impacted by trauma has been launched by a Logan-based non-profit.

The Trauma Resiliency Project at The Family Place began on Jan. 3.

“Our goal is to build and foster relationships by helping the child deal with and regulate emotions while helping the caregiver recognize those emotions,” said Tiffany Gleason, the patient care coordinator for the project.

While several organizations in Logan recognize and treat trauma, “the Family Place focuses on family relationships rather than strictly focusing on the individual,” project director Manny Zizumbo said. “The attachment piece is huge for us.”

Zizumbo noted that childhood trauma has been linked to medical issues developed later on in life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood trauma can have a tremendous negative impact on lifelong health.

Preventing those long-term consequences is a key goal of the project.

Officials said the Family Place was the first organization in the state of Utah to use trauma intervention that identifies three core domains that are frequently impacted among traumatized youth, the “Attachment, Regulation, and Competency” framework.

Gordon Younker, an associate director for The Family Place, said the Trauma Resiliency Project has helped the organization become part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, which includes 400 organizations nationwide.

“It’ll put us on the map,” he said. “Being part of the network gives our staff access to people, training opportunities, articles, studies, conferences, and contact information for other organizations.”

The project is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance behavioral health. In October, the administration awarded The Family Place a five-year grant to begin the project.