Youth task force members offer hope about the journey to resilience in a video by Youth for Youth.
Members of the NCTSN Youth Task Force are passionate about reaching out to their peers. Having come through harrowing experiences in their own lives, they have a message for youth who are experiencing complex trauma: “There is hope. You are not alone. Never give up.”
The film is the latest project for the task force, including Javier Arango Evan Tischofer, Allen Brown and Julia Veronesi. The group feels this video can reach more youth who need to hear their messages about complex trauma.
The majority of “Never Give Up,” produced by the Complex Trauma Treatment Network in concert with The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, Adelphi University, Northwestern University and others, takes place in informal settings in the Bronx such as an empty loft space, or on the stairs of a brownstone. A larger portion of the content was not scripted, and the youth had final say on the editing.
Although the speakers in the video do talk about their traumatic experiences, specific details of their trauma are not the focus. They speak mostly of what it took for them to make sense of their journeys and find their way to resilience. Survival was their focus; and later, self-destructive coping mechanisms took them further into complex trauma.
Asked about his hopes for the video, Tischofer, a member of the task force since its inception, said, “What I’m hoping comes from this video is to take away the stigma attached to trauma, to make our peers aware that they’re not alone and that it’s okay to ask for help.”
Veronesi believes that the video will show that “kids are a lot smarter than we think. We [as young adults] have the ability to reflect, piece things together, and talk about things that were once traumatic.” She hopes that clinicians who see the video will gain “a better understanding of the clients and kids they are working with. I hope their view shifts and they view them more as equals.”
*This information was provided by the NCTSN (National Child Traumatic Stress Network).