I have spent the majority of my career in mental health, working with youth and young adults, so I know that what happens to you as a child plays a significant role in the person you become. When we’re young, our brain is elastic and ready to adapt to our circumstances. Our surroundings teach us answers to many questions: Do I feel safe? Are my needs being met? Can I trust the people in my world? Who are healthy and safe people? Therapeutic interventions help us unpack the lessons we learned as...

Gun violence and gun control has become a highly politicized topic of discussion in America. In the past few years, as we lived through the COVID-19 pandemic,  there has been an increase in news coverage about school shootings, protests and demonstrations, police brutality and  deadly crimes.  According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of Americans (48%) see gun violence as a major problem in the country. In our April 2022 episode of CHRIS 180’s Lunchtime Live Series,  four of the organization’s trauma-informed experts discussed  the work they do to prevent...

At just 12-years-old, Jocelyn had her first encounter with CHRIS 180. Her grandmother was looking for help after taking in Jocelyn and her brother, in the wake of their mother’s issues with substance use.  Knowing that both children had experienced significant trauma, the family turned to our Keeping Families Together program. Jocelyn’s involvement with CHRIS 180’s wraparound services changed the direction of her life. It even led her to evolve from being a client to working as a behavioral health provider. Jocelyn found herself at CHRIS 180 once more when...

Grief is often pushed aside quickly in American culture.  You lose a loved one, you have a funeral or memorial service within a week and people go back to their regular schedules. I’m sure most people reading this have lost one or many loved ones in their lifetime. Do you remember the “fog” you were in? Do you remember the disbelief you felt that the person died? Some people go into shock which is a way for the body to protect itself. These experiences are normal when a death occurs. Then comes...

Home for neighborhood matriarch will provide stability for young mothers CHRIS 180, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing trauma-informed holistic health services to children, youth and families, held a groundbreaking ceremony to announce the launch of a project to stabilize families on Atlanta’s Westside. CHRIS 180 partnered with the MicroLife Institute to construct a single-family home in the Washington Park neighborhood for Deborah Glover, a 71-year-old woman who has lived in the area for decades, in a shed without water or electricity. Glover connected with CHRIS 180 through its Community Health...

We all need rest to function well in each area of our lives. Sleep, exercise, video games and spending time with loved ones are a few examples of activities commonly used to recharge. But sometimes, what you think is a break is actually a form of escapism that saps your time and energy. CHRIS 180 clinical experts Chris Haider-Bardill, LPC, CPCS, and Rob Collins, LCSW, LSSGB, discussed escapism and its role in our lives during a Lunchtime Live episode in May 2021.   What is escapism? Typically, escapism involves engaging in an activity to...

Often when the term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is used, it is associated with members of the military, especially war veterans. As times change and people become more familiar with trauma and its impact on each of our lives, we are starting to recognize just how the stress connected to past and present events impacts our daily lives. How does PTSD affect the brain? PTSD is often accompanied by a significant psychological shock. First, it is essential to understand that considerable stress and trauma, when experienced or witnessed, puts the brain in...

Michelle’s Story When Michelle lost her housing, a friend told her about CHRIS 180 and our Drop-In Center. The Drop-In Center provides a range of free services for youth ages 16-24 who are experiencing homelessness. These services include meals, life coaching, job and housing assistance and walk-in therapy sessions. But Michelle was hesitant. She had just come out as a trans woman and worried about reaching out for help and being met with judgment. However, when Michelle arrived at the Drop-In Center for the first time, she was surrounded by a welcoming...

For Johnny Brown, Fatherhood Session Coordinator at CHRIS 180’s Cure Violence Atlanta program, helping fathers is a calling. “All of us are on this journey of being fathers,” Johnny shared. “We work with participants to learn the life skills to be able to work, stay out of trouble and start talking about what it takes to be a good parent. When we help them show up in their child’s life, we are breaking the cycle of generational violence.” Every Monday from 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. at the Cure Violence Atlanta office,...

Valancia Abdullah considers it her calling to care for youth who some may think of as “challenged.” After working with special needs students at Atlanta Public Schools, in 2000, she joined CHRIS 180’s foster care program. She serves as a Resident Assistant. The kids affectionately refer to her as Ms. Val. “The RA to me is just like being a mom in care: we have to make sure their needs are met,” Abdullah shared. “They look up to us. They’re learning from us. Kids who are grown now have come back...