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Trauma Informed Care

Trauma-Informed Care at Hanna



At Hanna, we know that toxic stress has a damaging impact on the developing brain and sets the stage for a lifetime of health, behavioral health, learning and social problems—problems that compromise long-term well-being. It’s a complex problem rooted in unhealthy relationships and environments.

Many of the boys we work with at Hanna are struggling to overcome this toxic stress – identified through ACEs or Adverse Childhood Experiences—the adversity caused by abuse, neglect, violence and family issues with substance abuse, mental illness, poverty, racism, immigration and so on.

Preventing and treating this requires influencing individual behaviors, relationships among families, neighbors and community involvement.

If the toxic stress stops and is replaced by practices that build resilience, the brain can slowly undo many of the stress-induced changes.

There is well-documented research on how brains and bodies become healthier through mindfulness practices, exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep and healthy social interactions.

At Hanna, we focus on the practices of empowering change, building resilience and developing mastery, creating a safe, stable and nurturing environment for boys and their families.

These elements are essential in assuring our boys are able reach their full potential, growing up to be healthy and productive citizens so that they, in turn, can build stronger and safer families and communities for their children.

To explore this topic fully and really deep-dive into ACEs study and the impact that trauma has on the brain, please visit our partner website for the Hanna Institute. It’s full of articles, insights and resources on Trauma Informed Care and how to avoid and overcome toxic stress.

Healing at Hanna

Experience with historic trauma in youth can contribute to a slew of behavioral outcomes—these are often the protective mechanisms that naturally occur as youth cope psychologically with their past.

These can be aggressive behaviors like fighting, physical intimidation, or verbal assaults; dissociative behaviors like becoming detached, extremely bored, feeling like reality is a dream, or like one isn’t in their own body; humorous defensive mechanisms, overly compliant behaviors, and much more.

At Hanna, our specially trained staff have the skill, tools and mindset to engage and help these struggling youth. This type of relationship building takes knowledge, practice and authenticity.

Due to over seventy years of experience and specialized know-how, our Hanna community works together to achieve positive outcomes for each and every Hanna student.