Trauma Matters KC, Community Violence And Its Effects On The Individual and Families

Trauma Matters KC is a new organization born out of the “Trauma Informed Community” Task Force. Led by Truman Medical Center and the Mid-America Regional Council, Trauma Matters KC is a diverse group of mental health professional, social workers, community support professionals and citizens working together to raise awareness about trauma and sensitive practices that promote healing, health and wellness in community. Host Melvin Merritt will talk with Beth Sarver, Youth Advocate and Co-Chair of Trauma Matters KC PR & Marketing Committee about this new approach to healing our community and Molly Ticknor Behavioral Health Futures Team leader at Truman Medical Center.

As mental health providers and advocates in the Kansas City area, we often work with youth / families that have experienced multiple traumatic events that involve community violence. There are families and young people who have witnessed violent crimes, murders, shootings, and even significant violence involving a family member or close friend. Our own youth have often been personally involved in shootings and other violent crimes as the victims. When asked about these events, their responses are often “it happens every day” or “it’s just a part of life in Kansas City,” not even realizing how traumatizing these events can be on their relationships, ability to feel safe walking out the door, attending school, or even the feelings of safety in their own home. The impact that violence and continual traumatic events have on a young person’s self confidence, physical health, and emotional well-being is exponential. Youth are dropping out of school everyday due to not feeling safe either on the bus, walking to school, or being in the school, or simply a fear of staying alive. Is this how we want our own youth to feel in our
community? We all have a responsibility to pay attention to how this violence translates to trauma and how it has impacted generations of Kansas City youth and families.

Trauma Matters KC’s vision is…The people of Kansas City are healthy because we are trauma informed.

Trauma Matters KC Values

  • Safety: Physical and emotional safety for people throughout our community
  • Trustworthiness: Building trust throughout our community, between individuals, groups and companies
  • Choice: Supporting and encouraging positive choices for people in our community
  • Collaboration: Maximizing collaboration and sharing of power
  • Empowerment: Prioritizing child, youth and family empowerment and skill-building at every opportunity
  • Community: Using our collective power and resources to build trauma informed community

Trauma Matters KC’s Goals

  • Provide education and information to the general public about trauma informed care
  • Create a common language and practices among helping professionals, human resource professionals, supervisors and leaders
  • Provide appropriate support, timely intervention and referral to services for people who have experienced trauma
  • Promote resilience
  • Measure changes in community outcomes
  • Develop a public policy agenda

Beth Sarver
“Solutionary” Artist, Educator, Community Builder and Youth Advocate

Molly Ticknor
TMC BH Futures Team Leader
[email protected]

JoJR Calendar April 8th

The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty joins with a number of KU campus groups to present a lecture by Kirk Bloodsworth, author of A Matter of Innocence. Kirk, a former Marine, was sentenced to death in Baltimore County, Maryland, for the 1985 rape and murder of nine-year-old Dawn Hamilton and was exonerated by DNA evidence in 1993.

He will be speaking on Monday, April 15, 2013 in the Big XII Room of the Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence, Kansas. For information on this and other public events with Kirk check out the Kansas Coalition against the Death Penalty’s website

The W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center is currently in need of math tutors for boys and girls classes at all levels. Classes are on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon at 6409 Agnes, KCMO. If you have time and wish to help out call Mickey Dean at 816-523-1671.

The Missouri Medicaid Coalition is hosting a Medicaid Expansion Lobby Day, Tuesday April 16th. There will be a bus leaving from the Teamsters Hall, 4501 Emanuel Cleaver Blvd, KCMO at 7:30am and another from Independence Center, 18801 E 39th St, Independence, MO at 8:30am on the 16th. To reserve a spot on a bus go to for more information contact Kevin at [email protected]

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