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...

We stand with our Asian American colleagues, partners, clients and all affected in the wake of the horrific mass shootings in Atlanta and Acworth. This act of terrorism has produced additional anxiety and unease in the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) community, which has been targeted by acts of racism and xenophobia since the beginning of the pandemic. As a trauma-informed organization, we know that words matter, and we all must call out bigotry, hate and white supremacy. CHRIS 180 is committed to being a safe space for those who are dealing with...

“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it, is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.” Rachel Naomi Remen Screeching tires. Smell of burnt rubber. Windows breaking and metal crunching. These are sensory triggers that may remind us of traumatic events known as direct trauma experiences.  We also can experience vicarious trauma – stress-related symptoms caused by indirect exposure to traumatic material. Vicarious trauma could be stories or experiences that our friends and families...

My African American mother, aunts and uncle lived through the Jim Crow laws and experienced racial violence throughout much of their childhood.  My Congolese father and aunts experienced the trauma of war in DRC. The recent killings have touched trauma wounds in some members of my family. I imagine that many survivors of intergenerational trauma are recalling warnings from their elders who communicated that this world is unsafe for Black people --that Black people do not really fit in American society.  The painful and harsh reality lingers as a backdrop for...