FEBRUARY 28, 2021
BY: KRISTIN HUMPHREY, MENTORING DIRECTOR, PARTNERS FOR YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES (PYD)
The coronavirus has created an unprecedented crisis which has impacted the way we live, work, and interact. Mentors are needed now more than ever to support youth during this time of COVID-19, providing comfort, connection, and suggestions to navigate this uncharted environment. For many young people with disabilities, COVID-19 posed an even greater risk due to the high-risk nature of many health conditions and disabilities.
We have long believed that practices which are inclusive and trauma informed benefit all youth. The benefits of these practices have become even more pronounced in the pandemic as the country experienced a collective trauma and increased need to adapt. Below we have highlighted the ways we’ve applied five trauma informed principles: voice and choice; a culture of self-care, promoting safety, access to resources and cultural humility, adapted from the Boston Public Health Commission’s Trauma Awareness and Resilience Training for Boston Area Youth Workers. These principles are interwoven and intersect with best practices for inclusion; as we have pivoted our programming during the pandemic, we have kept these practices in mind as a foundation.