MMC hosted an event titled “Communicating After Trauma,” with keynote speaker, Kathy Franchek, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine who specializes in trauma-informed care. This event focused on the causes of trauma and the physiological effects trauma can have on a person.
Article by Carolyn Webber Alder, for the Park Record (September 27, 2018)
Over the last couple decades, the Mountain Mediation Center worked with people in Summit and Wasatch counties to prevent and resolve disputes. Rarely did it hold community-wide events to educate the public — until now.
The Park City nonprofit is scheduled to host an event titled “Communicating After Trauma” on Oct. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Blair Education Center in the Park City Hospital. Kathy Franchek, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine who specializes in trauma-informed care, is expected to speak about common causes of trauma and the physiological effects trauma can have on a person. The center plans to host more speaker events in the future.
Gretchen Lee, the interim executive director of the Mountain Mediation Center, said the nonprofit has slowly moved into the event arena after helping put on various functions with Communities that Care this past year. During that time, Lee said she learned more about the work of other nonprofits in the area and decided she wanted to partner with them to host the center’s own events.
“There’s so much good material out there that we want to share it with the community, especially in the current environment,” she said.
While considering who to invite to speak, one of the center’s board members heard Franchek present in Salt Lake City. Immediately, she thought that Park City could benefit from the message and scheduled Franchek. From there, Lee reached out to the Peace House and the Park City School District, who agreed to participate in a panel.
Lee said the topic seemed timely, given the increased emphasis on mental health and substance abuse in the Park City area, which can both result from or be a catalyst for trauma in individuals.
Franchek will speak about how trauma can affect health, well-being and behavior, as well as how to communicate with people after they have experienced trauma. She said in a press release that trauma can greatly impact the health of people “across their lifespan.”
The event is expected to close with a panel including Kendra Wyckoff, executive director of the Peace House; Sam Walsh, intervention counselor at Park City High School; and Evie Brinkerhoff, a child welfare mediator and board member of Mountain Mediation Center. They will answer questions about how they handle trauma in their work.
Lee said she hopes people walk away from the event more aware of how they interact with people who have been affected by a trauma, and with confidence to know how to help them.
She said the Mountain Mediation Center intends to keep holding events throughout the year, as well as to continue to develop its community education through classes about conflict resolution and parent-teen communication in Park City and Heber City.
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