Where The Light Enters: Recording Now Available

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 10:15

We are pleased to announce that segments from the event, Where the Light Enters: Hope and Healing Through Trauma-Informed Education, are now available.

Maynooth University hosted an event on Tuesday, 26 October (2-9pm) to raise awareness of childhood trauma and adversity, and to highlight the need for trauma-informed practice in Education settings. Titled ‘Hope and Healing’, the series of reflections and discussions, hosted online by Maynooth University’s Department of Education, sought to develop a framework of what trauma-informed practice might look like in an Irish context. It also featured a conversation with world renowned trauma expert, Dr Gabor Mate, as well as drama from Crooked House Youth Theatre, contributions from Dr Sharon Lambert, Professor Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Experts by Experience, teachers, and students. The event was led by Dr Catriona O’Toole, Assistant Professor in the Psychology of Education at Maynooth University, in collaboration with Alcohol Action Ireland and supported by the Irish Research Council. Full Eventbrite details and registration are available here.
Speaking about childhood trauma, Dr Gabor Maté said: “Children don’t get traumatized because they get hurt; they get traumatized because they’re alone with the hurt. The common template for virtually all afflictions, mental illness, physical disease, is in fact, trauma.” Dr Catriona O’Toole, psychologist and Maynooth University lecturer, said: “This is a hugely important and timely event. Childhood adversity and trauma are pervasive and have powerful, wide-ranging effects on subsequent health and wellbeing. Trauma-Informed approaches in education are vital for ensuring that staff understand how trauma impacts children's learning, behaviour and relationships. Schools can and should be a safe and nurturing place for children and young people who have challenging life experiences.” She continued: “Experts such as the renowned Dr Gabor Maté help us to hone our thinking about what a national framework for trauma-informed practice in education might look like.” Also co-chairing the event, Dr Sheila Gilheany, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland, said that research carried out by Alcohol Action Ireland showed that education settings were a vital place to reach children who may have difficulties at home. “Educators are extremely well placed to identify children experiencing harm from, for example, a trauma such as problem alcohol use in the home, which impacts development.  The provision of training in relation to trauma-informed approaches and adverse children experiences (ACEs) should be implemented at teacher training level, and at all levels of professional development – from teachers to principals to education welfare officers to SNAs and administrative staff,” Dr Gilheany said. "Likewise there is a need for co-ordination across state agencies who interact with traumatised children so that there is timely support for them in the school setting. An example of such good practice is Operation Encompass which, in the UK, links police and schools for children impacted by domestic abuse.”