Hundreds attend summit on addressing childhood trauma, mental health

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Leaders from across our state are pushing to improve mental health in children with hundreds of people attending a local conference.

“The children of Dayton have been through a lot with the tornadoes. The city has been through a lot with the KKK coming to town; that was not a fun experience for the city to have to go through. Then on top of that, on August 4, we had the horrible shooting,” lists Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

Given what the community has been through recently, Dayton was an apt place to hold the Building Resiliency Summit.

About 850 people from all over the state and all walks of life packed Sinclair Community College to learn how to improve mental health in children and deal with trauma.

The state legislature has set aside $675 million for schools to go to wraparound services to help in that cause.

“There’s a lot of stress, a lot of tension certainly this year, but even before,” says Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “Those dollars will go a long way in helping these efforts.”

DeWine also used the opportunity to tout his 17-point plan to reduce gun violence.

“Each of the items in our proposal will save lives,” states DeWine.

Eighth grade dropout turned motivational speaker Mark Anthony Garrett spoke to the crowd as a living testimony of resilience urging others to be mentors.

“Children who are in trauma, they need loving and caring adults,” advises Garrett.

Leaders say it’s about hope and the idea that children can overcome any negative experience with the right help.

“It certainly is never too late, but the earlier we can reach these kids the better off we are,” states DeWine.

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