Garrett County Workers from Various Disciplines Receive Trauma Informed Care Training

Garrett County Workers from Various Disciplines Receive Trauma Informed Care Training at Deep Creek Lake, MD

Staff from many different agencies across Garrett and Allegany Counties filled the new Performing Arts Center at Garrett College on June 26th, spending an entire Monday learning about trauma informed care. More than 140 listened as a national expert broke down different aspects of trauma informed care, educated on trauma-informed clinical practices, and addressed the impact of trauma on individual patients. Ferentz closing statement was, “Choose to make your happiness and your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing priorities in your life.”

Heather Hanline, Executive Director of the Dove Center, introduced the guest speaker, Lisa Ferentz, who has been in private practice for nearly 40 years.

Hanline spoke about Healing Garrett, an ongoing initiative that seeks to create a trauma-informed, self-healing community, through education, prevention, and counteracting Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Her strong and simple message was the perfect way to lead into the topic of the day. “Rather than asking someone What is wrong with you, we should be asking What happened to you, and how can we help you overcome it?”

Ferentz titled her presentation “Getting Through a Moment…Essential First Steps in Trauma Informed Care.” A special emphasis was placed on self-care for the helping professional. Assisting patients deal with the effects of extensive mental, physical, and emotional trauma can take a toll on providers. Self-care is sometimes mistakenly viewed as selfish and brushed off as unnecessary.

Participants were taught various techniques, such as breathwork exercises, somatic resources, and artwork, that can be used by patients and professionals to help ground themselves as they deal with trauma.

Although the information presented at this training was geared towards mental health professionals, victim advocates, and teachers, much of the information was helpful for anyone who has lived through trauma or has a loved one who has suffered trauma. Continuing Education Units were available for various disciplines.

This training was provided at no cost to participants and was sponsored by the Garrett County Health Department with funding made possible by the Garrett County Local Management Board through the Governor’s Office of Crime, Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, MDH, and SAMHSA.