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Fort Worth, TX: Teachers should ask, 'What happened to you?' (at home)

Sept 20, 2017, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram: Building pathways to resilience in youth http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/other-voices/article174442706.html When you’re working with teens, you have to relate to teens. For the work of Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County and its Reaching Teens pilot, a red Converse high top sneaker represents the youth the coalition has focused on for the last three years. Reaching Teens is a collaborative effort our community adopted in 2014. As we roll out the final report next week, I am pleased to share that the work of 10 community agencies has resulted in a more trauma-informed and strengths-based approach when working with teens. ... With tools and education credits from the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 400 mental health care professionals in Tarrant County are all on the same page. That’s system-wide collaboration. The work began in 2013 when more than 800 teachers, probation officers, mental health providers, advocates and community leaders participated in a Mental Health Connection Trauma Symposium featuring Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, professor of pediatrics at Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania. The momentum began for Tarrant County mental health providers to focus on becoming more trauma-informed. That means asking “What happened to you?”, not “What is wrong with you?”…