Join us! Trauma and Resiliency Action-Informed Learning Series (TRAILS) Kick-off Event

Thursday, October 21
1-4 p.m. ET / 12-3 p.m. CT / 11 a.m.-2 p.m. MT / 10 a.m.-1 p.m. PT / 9 a.m.-12 p.m. AKT / 8-11 a.m. HT (view your time zone)
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Beginning with this kick-off event, NTTAC will launch a center-wide action and informed learning series focused on addressing trauma and building resilience in and across all systems.

This event will offer perspectives of trauma and resiliency in a panel format featuring youth and young adults, family members/caregivers, clinicians, and other stakeholders. The panel will be followed by opportunities to discuss current challenges, innovations, and needs in smaller groups with facilitators. Issues and ideas that emerge from discussion will inform and support the learning series over the next year.

* Please note that this session will be recorded. A virtual lounge/calming space will also be available during the session.

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All who provide services and supports to children, youth, and families, and those who receive services and supports from the child-serving system of care.

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Participants will:
  • Learn about trauma and resilience from the perspectives of those who have experienced trauma and from those who support them.
  • Discuss the different aspects of resilience.
  • Engage in peer sharing around challenges in addressing trauma, as well as innovative approaches.

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With over 30 years of experience in the juvenile justice and children’s mental health systems, Dr. Tracy Levins has worked with communities, organizations, and policymakers to design programs and policies to help youth and families access the services and resources they need. She was identified as a select collaborator for the MacArthur Foundation’s Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change and was a past nominee for Outstanding Woman in Texas Government for her work in promoting family engagement in the juvenile justice system, including co-leading the development of the Parents’ Bill of Rights.

Currently, Tracy is the Team Lead for the NTTAC Community Wellness and Peer Support team. She is housed at the University of Texas at Austin in the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health where she works on several initiatives benefitting children, youth, and young adults with mental health needs.
Yesmina Luchsinger, MS, is an educator, mental health professional, and gun violence survivor. She brings experience in education, equity, policy development, and the unique experience of education administration during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Director of School Safety and Social Wellness for her state education agency. Originally from Nebraska, Yesmina is currently making her way in the world on the ancestral lands of the Akimel O’odham (Pima), Pee Posh (Maricopa), and Tohono O’odham peoples in downtown Phoenix, AZ.
Tyus Reed, Youth Peer Support, CWA​, was born and raised in Tacoma, WA, specifically the Parkland area. He is 23 years old and was incarcerated in 2014 when he was 17 and spent 3.5 years in juvenile facilities and a year in adult. Growing up before incarceration, the interactions he witnessed with law enforcement in his community were mostly always violent and traumatizing. During his time in the juvenile system, he learned who he was and what he wanted to do when he got out. He graduated high school while incarcerated and also began involving himself with juvenile justice reform. His time in the Department of Corrections was an eye-opener; he learned a lot about life and people. Since his release in 2018, Tyus has been actively involved with juvenile justice reform to help create an all-around system that offers support to be successful. 
Julia Sayles, LMHC, CAGS, is a Research Instructor at Georgetown University. She has spent the last decade serving early childhood populations, and she has extensive experience providing trauma-informed care trainings and TA to Head Start, preschool programs, and special education programs.
Sukey Steckel, LMSW, joined the CARS team in 2021 as a senior research associate with NTTAC. She is an experienced training and technical assistance provider, and she brings 20 years of administrative experience in state government and higher education. She is passionate about applying Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) research to practice, trauma-informed care, and systems change. Since 2018, she has combined these passions to co-create the Roadmap to Resilience, an organizational GPS for trauma-informed care. She served in both the judicial and executive branches of government in Tennessee, including as the Children’s Mental Health and System of Care Director for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Millie Sweeney, MS is the Deputy Director for the Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA). She has over twenty years’ direct experience in navigating systems with and on behalf of families, advocating at both the individual and policy level, and building collaborations.

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Natalie Bautista, RN, is a registered nurse, community outreach volunteer, and childhood trauma survivor. Having grown up in a household with immigrant parents, Natalie is bilingual, bicultural, and a first-generation college graduate. Natalie is focusing her nursing career working with youth and adults in a variety of behavioral health settings.
Mordecai Dixon, MA, has many years of experience providing training and support to 2-1-1 crisis intervention specialists, care coordinators, resource coordinators, and program supervisors; managing peer services and care coordination; and overseeing crisis, referral, and suicide prevention services. Mr. Dixon has worked in human services with diverse populations for thirty years and has interests in quality improvement, program development, and evaluation.
Miriam Hernandez Dimmler, PhD, coordinates community-based mental health outreach services and evaluation at the Child Trauma Research Program. Her research to date has focused on parenting qualities in relation to children's academic and social competencies, such as parenting factors that predict to achievement and cognitive gains in underserved, ethnic minority students from low-performing elementary schools. As a bi-cultural, bi-lingual Cuban-American from New York City, she is particularly invested in promoting urban children's socio-emotional and academic development through community and school-based preventions and interventions for low-income families.
Oriana Ides is a School Mental Health Training Specialist at CARS and NTTAC. She approaches healing the wounds of trauma and oppression as core elements of social justice. She has worked with young people from elementary school students to college students, and has served as teacher-leader, school counselor, classroom educator, and program director. She is committed to generating equity within school structures and policies by focusing on evidence-based mental health techniques and institutional design.
Albert Lafond, from Laconia, New Hampshire, has used his experience as a young person whose parents were incarcerated in his work with the Family Connection Center in Concord, New Hampshire. For the past six years, he has advocated for and helped design programs and services to help make the world a better place for children whose parents are incarcerated. During this time, he has spoken to senators, judges, professors, middle and high school students, and many others to share his passion for helping young people remain connected to their incarcerated parent. Albert is also a graphic designer, a video creator and editor, and a skilled auto mechanic.
Delfy Peña Roach is the Executive Director of Families ASAP, the NM Statewide Family organization for families raising children/youth living with behavioral differences. Delfy successfully navigated the mental health and special education systems for and with her son, and is now helping her son raise his amazing twin sons and navigate the educational and behavioral health systems on their behalf. Delfy loves being their grandma.
Patti van Eys, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and Vice President of Product for Pathways at Work. She brings expertise from former roles as professor at Vanderbilt University, Chief Clinical Officer of Omni Visions, Inc. (foster care), and Behavioral Manager at BlueCare Tennessee. Dr. van Eys has consulted and trained extensively at the local, regional, and national level on trauma-informed care and mental health issues.
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This announcement is supported by SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award over five years (2020-2025) with 100 percent funded by SAMHSA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by SAMHSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.