Coping with Child Traumatic Stress and Community Violence in Baltimore | WYPR

Coping with Child Traumatic Stress and Community Violence in Baltimore

Credit Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun

The Excel Academy, a high school on the west side of Baltimore, in Poppleton, has just under 100 students, many of whom have been working to overcome behavioral problems; some are dealing with homelessness or pregnancy. And there is another, heartbreaking problem that these students have had to cope with. Six of their classmates have been killed in street violence over the last year. Six kids, from one school.

To date, 263 people have been killed in Baltimore in 2017. Of those 263 people, 26 were children and young people who did not live long enough to celebrate their 21st birthdays. Most were teenagers. Two were babies. 

Today on Midday, a conversation about what the constant trauma of street violence does to the mental and emotional health of young people. Tom is joined by a panel of guests. 

Writer and poet Kondwani Fidel wrote about his experience growing up in Baltimore in a cover story for the City Paper titled How a young boy has been decaying in Baltimore since age 10: A Death Note.

Annette March-Grier is a registered nurse, and the President and co-founder of Roberta’s House, a grief support center here in Baltimore. In 2015, she was honored as a CNN Hero for her work at Roberta’s House. 

Dr. Liza Suarez is the co-director of the Urban Youth Trauma Center in Chicago. She is a psychologist who specializes in violence prevention, childhood trauma, anxiety and adolescent substance abuse. 

Dr. Jonathan Shepherd is the Executive of Hope Health Systems here in Baltimore and is board President for the Black Mental Health Alliance.