For us at Harvest House, it was time for a reset. After 18 months of COVID and its effects on us as employees and our community of 1,000+ men, women, and children we serve every year, our team needed something to help us recenter our mission and reconnect with each other.
Thanks to a capacity-building grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, we brought in trauma intelligence and grief expert, Blythe Landry from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to help our team better understand trauma amongst ourselves and our clients, and “respond to it in more empathic, effective, and productive ways.”
For those of us with a history of trauma, this last year has been especially tough. Our anxiety, fear, and depression has been exacerbated by the collision of a pandemic, political and social unrest, economic downturn, and isolation, making even the smallest tasks more difficult. When you’re in social work not only do you carry your own fears, but often you internalize the fears and struggles of the people you show up for every day. That’s a lot to carry. If you know a social worker, give them some encouragement, a hug, and maybe even a gift certificate for a massage.
According to Blythe, “grasping and understanding trauma, how it impacts us individually, and how it impacts us as a society, is a very important issue of our time. The Trauma Intelligence Training is an 8-step process that details how to connect to, interact with, and support people in our personal and professional lives who have a history of trauma.”
“According to SAMHSA, in the United States alone, trauma is reported by 61% of men and 51% of women at least once in a lifetime. 90% of clients in public behavioral healthcare programs have experienced trauma. When we look at the statistics in this light, it is inevitable that every single one of us has either experienced trauma, loves someone who has, or comes into regular contact with multiple people who have.”
Blythe is a dually mastered LCSW/MSW and M.Ed with 20 years-experience helping clients globally recover from trauma, grief, and addictions. This work is accomplished through 1:1 client interactions, small-group trainings, and larger, corporate trainings. While there is a relational and practice cohesiveness with all direct service work, Blythe meets each client and organization where they are and offers individualized training and recovery interventions based on unique needs and goals.
This training came at the perfect time. We’ve participated in many trainings that taught us how to identify the symptoms of trauma, but often the training ends before we go inward to see how our own trauma can show up at home and work. This time, we learned actionable steps that can bring about lasting, healthy change for us personally and for our clients.
Prior to the training, we set goals such as:
Although we still have some work to do, we’ve made significant progress on these goals. I feel like it’s a new day and I am so proud of our team. They are dedicated to being healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually themselves so they can be the best for our clients. That takes a lot of courage and strength.
Thank you, again to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for sponsoring this important reset opportunity and to Blythe and her team for being so knowledgeable, loving, and effective. Our community is better because of this!
Erin E. Minor
Chief Executive Officer
Mailing Address:3650 17th StreetSarasota, FL 34235
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