PLANTING THE SEEDS OF TOMORROW CONFERENCE
Substance Abuse And Mental Health
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes trauma as any event or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as life-threatening or emotionally or physically harmful. This trauma has lasting effects on an individual’s ability to function socially, mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally. An important part of this definition is the phrase experienced by.” What one individual perceives as traumatic may not be traumatic for another. Understanding this is key to treating trauma.
Displacement And Cultural Conflict.
Many of our South Sudanese Members have communicated how their experience here in the states hasn't been as easy as it may have initially seemed. Many have struggled to feel a sense of home and at peace, as they've described living in the states as “leaving one war-torn home of Sudan, and being placed into another which has become a cultural war within their own families.” They feel as though they've lacked the resources needed to feel grounded and it's now reflected within the family dynamic.
Many parents fear losing their cultural values and principles and passing them on to a generation that is engulfed in American lifestyles. Children feel the stress of having to upkeep family traditions while surrounded by the opposite. This creates a rift and unnecessary tension within the home and can be detrimental as it leaves feelings of division with those we call family.
With our team being composed of many young adults, we are hearing from the first-hand experience how this poses a threat to the development of family values; how resentment can build against parents simply because they do not understand what it's like to grow as a child in the states. With a love for our culture, it is important that we can provide outlets that seek to combat this issue.
We believe we can combat some of these issues by:
Implementing a comprehensive prevention approach that includes a mix of evidence-based programs that are geared towards South Sudanese Migrants and/or practices that best address the selected prevention priorities
Identify technical assistance (TA) and training needs for the development of Culturally orientated responsive activities.
Strengthening prevention capacity/infrastructure at the community level. Leveraging other funding streams and resources for incoming migrants Seeking our developmental courses for those already integrated into the states but struggling from a faulty foundation and Offering real-time and reliable resources for help with language barrier issues Educating parents on the many drugs that are available to their children Education surrounding the effects of drugs and alcohol Access to free/affordable therapist Access to free/affordable rehab centers Recognizing the triggers of substance abuse and resources available to divert to healthier coping mechanisms Creating safe spaces for members to freely speak on their trauma Being the eyes and ears for our community members and seeking help for those who don't realize they are in need Unify the youth and adults perceptions on a common cause of fighting Substance abuse in our Communities.