Photo by Mischa Webley

Linda Jo Devlaeminck, Program Director, Community of Hope

“The missing piece is relationships. If you’re going to break the cycle of trauma, the only way to do that is to help both parents and children to have healthy relationships, to be able to give and take, to trust each other to know that they’re loved and be free to be who they are.

Relationships are key; positive relationships that are going to help heal from that trauma and support people in making healthy choices. You can’t make a healthy choice if you don’t have the wherewithal to do that, if you don’t have that background and support. If we could heal those relationships, and have a society where we love each other, then there would not be homelessness and there would not be addiction. 

“Childhood trauma is the worst health issue in our nation, and maybe our world.”

Children that have adverse childhood experiences – if you have been homeless, abused, witnessed abuse, a child of a parents that are incarcerated or addicted  – if you experienced these things you are statistically more likely to have poor health as an adult, even if those issues got resolved. More likely to be mentally ill, more likely to use drugs and to abuse others or to be a victim of domestic violence. Less likely to have a good education, less likely to have a good job, less likely to have good social skills that’s going to help you be successful.  

Childhood trauma is the worst health issue in our nation, and maybe our world. It’s worse than cancer, worse than heart disease.”

— Interview by Mischa Webley, NECN Staff Writer