﷯An Overwhelming “Statement of Need” Holland Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Brian Davis has been diligently sounding the alarm that the #1 impact on our schools today is childhood trauma; trauma that is now understood to cause an increase in the likelihood of mental illness as an adult. How do we know this? From the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (see "What is an ACE?", below). For Dr. Davis, childhood trauma brings chaos; chaos that may prove to modify brain chemistry. A connected relationship is the number one way to mitigate this chaos. A connected relationship with an "always available adult (AAA)" can regulate the nervous system and reduce the level of toxic stress. There is a science to this - when we are around people who we care about, our bodies produce oxytocin, the hormone responsible for calming our nervous system after stress. "Midtown gives us the chance to provide the connected relationships with adults necessary to reduce the chaos a child may feel." "We can work to restore safe, secure, and predictable relationships and learning environments at school with the support of Midtown Counseling. The structures and routines and the presence of a reliable adult reduce the chaos a child may feel and allows them to start creating the kind of logical sequential connections that not only help them understand their own narrative, but are also the fundamental requirement of many types of learning activities in schools." But is this a problem here at home? Consider the following: In Ottawa County, the prevalence of living with someone who has been incarcerated is greater in Ottawa County than in Michigan or across the U.S. Three in ten (29.6%) Ottawa County adults have experienced emotional abuse. Roughly one in five have had ﷯divorced or separated parents and a similar proportion have lived with someone who was a substance abuser. Over half (53.3%) of Ottawa County adults have experienced at least one adverse childhood event, and 14.0% have experienced four or more. For the 748 students at Holland Middle School, 75% are economically disadvantaged, up to 70 of which are homeless, and 19% receive special education services. Moreover, Lauren DeRoo, our program partner with the Ottawa Community School Network (OCSN) has completed intakes for 90 Holland Middle School students who were candidates for counseling and found: 71 were diagnosed with ADHD, 22 with anxiety, 19 with depression and 4 reported self-injury. And these are only the numbers parents were willing to provide and may therefore be grossly underreported. What is an “ACE”? The ACE is a research study conducted by the American health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participants were recruited to the study between 1995 and 1997 and have been in long-term follow up for health outcomes. A simple ten question test is used to tally the number of childhood traumas, or “ACE’s”, experienced by the subject before the age of 18. ACE’s include abuse (physical, emotional and sexual), neglect (physical and emotional), and household dysfunction (mental illness, incarcerated relative, mother treated violently, substance abuse and divorce). There is a direct, linear relationship between the number of ACEs a child experiences and negative outcomes later in life. With 4 or more “ACEs” the level of suicide attempts, depression, drug abuse, liver disease, sexual activity and death increase up to 14-fold over an individual with fewer than 4 "ACEs" The Role of Midtown Counseling … there is a way forward Midtown is currently placing three counselors on school premises. Matching student-to-therapist is a vital role, therefore our coordinator, Lauren DeRoo, works closely with teachers and staff, filling out an intake form for each child, assessing behavior and background, to bring together the right student with the right Midtown counselor. A good fit makes all the difference. Midtown counselors then provide full, one-hour psychotherapy sessions to students while also remaining on-site to coordinate further treatment with Principal Nick Cassidy, teachers and staff. All Midtown counselors are fully Licensed Professional Counselors certified in Trauma Focused Therapy.

Midtown Counseling

96 W 15th St, Ste 208-9, Holland, MI  49423

Phone:  616.574.7135

 

﷯An Overwhelming “Statement of Need” Holland Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Brian Davis has been diligently sounding the alarm that the #1 impact on our schools today is childhood trauma; trauma that is now understood to cause an increase in the likelihood of mental illness as an adult. How do we know this? From the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (see "What is an ACE?", below). For Dr. Davis, childhood trauma brings chaos; chaos that may prove to modify brain chemistry. A connected relationship is the number one way to mitigate this chaos. A connected relationship with an "always available adult (AAA)" can regulate the nervous system and reduce the level of toxic stress. There is a science to this - when we are around people who we care about, our bodies produce oxytocin, the hormone responsible for calming our nervous system after stress. "Midtown gives us the chance to provide the connected relationships with adults necessary to reduce the chaos a child may feel." "We can work to restore safe, secure, and predictable relationships and learning environments at school with the support of Midtown Counseling. The structures and routines and the presence of a reliable adult reduce the chaos a child may feel and allows them to start creating the kind of logical sequential connections that not only help them understand their own narrative, but are also the fundamental requirement of many types of learning activities in schools." But is this a problem here at home? Consider the following: In Ottawa County, the prevalence of living with someone who has been incarcerated is greater in Ottawa County than in Michigan or across the U.S. Three in ten (29.6%) Ottawa County adults have experienced emotional abuse. Roughly one in five have had ﷯divorced or separated parents and a similar proportion have lived with someone who was a substance abuser. Over half (53.3%) of Ottawa County adults have experienced at least one adverse childhood event, and 14.0% have experienced four or more. For the 748 students at Holland Middle School, 75% are economically disadvantaged, up to 70 of which are homeless, and 19% receive special education services. Moreover, Lauren DeRoo, our program partner with the Ottawa Community School Network (OCSN) has completed intakes for 90 Holland Middle School students who were candidates for counseling and found: 71 were diagnosed with ADHD, 22 with anxiety, 19 with depression and 4 reported self-injury. And these are only the numbers parents were willing to provide and may therefore be grossly underreported. What is an “ACE”? The ACE is a research study conducted by the American health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participants were recruited to the study between 1995 and 1997 and have been in long-term follow up for health outcomes. A simple ten question test is used to tally the number of childhood traumas, or “ACE’s”, experienced by the subject before the age of 18. ACE’s include abuse (physical, emotional and sexual), neglect (physical and emotional), and household dysfunction (mental illness, incarcerated relative, mother treated violently, substance abuse and divorce). There is a direct, linear relationship between the number of ACEs a child experiences and negative outcomes later in life. With 4 or more “ACEs” the level of suicide attempts, depression, drug abuse, liver disease, sexual activity and death increase up to 14-fold over an individual with fewer than 4 "ACEs" The Role of Midtown Counseling … there is a way forward Midtown is currently placing three counselors on school premises. Matching student-to-therapist is a vital role, therefore our coordinator, Lauren DeRoo, works closely with teachers and staff, filling out an intake form for each child, assessing behavior and background, to bring together the right student with the right Midtown counselor. A good fit makes all the difference. Midtown counselors then provide full, one-hour psychotherapy sessions to students while also remaining on-site to coordinate further treatment with Principal Nick Cassidy, teachers and staff. All Midtown counselors are fully Licensed Professional Counselors certified in Trauma Focused Therapy.