Mahoning County High School helps students coping with trauma - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Mahoning County High School helps students coping with trauma

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A school that has been assisting drop-out or at-risk students achieve academically is now better equipped to help them cope with traumatic events in their lives.

The Mahoning County High School has met the qualifications needed to be designated as what is known as a trauma informed school.

Many students have to deal with a wide spectrum of traumatic events, ranging from having family members with addiction issues to first hand experiences with acts of abuse and violence.

Jennifer Merritt, the Mahoning County High School Superintendent says, “Its everywhere. Trauma can impact our students in any form. We just need to be able to address it and bring it school wide.”

The staff at the school is highly trained to recognize the traumas and how they effect the students.

Instead of attempting to help a student after they notice a problem, the staff is incorporating problem solving into the curriculum and is using other methods to effectively approach the problem holistically.

“It involves restorative practices, it involves counseling referral process all of our teachers will be trained in trauma informed practices and policies,” said Merritt. “We tie it into the curriculum so that all students everybody benefits from the process.”

Those who work with students recovering from a traumatic experience think the approach reaches the core of the problem.

“If we take a blind eye to the things that are impacting them and try to address a behavior without addressing the root cause we will be spinning our wheels,” said Carla Baldwin, Mahoning County Juvenile Magistrate.

Mahoning County High School Student Ta'Raji Williams says she's been helped by programs already in place.

“If I need help, I go to someone instead of just holding everything in. It's good to let it out. It helped me a lot to be honest,” said Williams.?

Those at the school are confident the new comprehensive approach will help even more. 

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