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Pressley Ridge Hosts Trauma Summit - Building Connections and Hope for the Future

Trauma and adversity have been shown to directly correlate with an increase in addiction, systematic racism, poverty and poor mental health. As a leader in trauma-informed care, Pressley Ridge continuously seeks to improve the services offered to children and families impacted by adversity. With a goal of creating a shared power that advances policy and practice from trauma-informed to trauma-infused institutions, Pressley Ridge will bring together national and regional mental health professionals invested in the advancement of trauma-informed care on October 23rd and 24th for the 2019 Building Connections and Hope for the Future Trauma Summit.

The summit will facilitate an exchange of information, an exploration of successful strategies and the opportunity for a deeper dialogue on what sustains hope for those who have experienced significant adversity and trauma. Through building social connections and links to new ideas regarding the sources of trauma, the summit aims to explore and identify the means to create environments in which resilience thrives. After a day of exploring innovative practices, summit participants will spend a half-day building on their collaborative vision of what trauma-infused care means for them and how they will act on this vision.

“Our long history of serving children and families affected by trauma has led us toward infusing trauma-informed practices into everything we do. We are privileged to be able to bring together our region’s leading social service providers along with national experts to collaborate and create communities that thrive,” said Susanne Cole, President and CEO of Pressley Ridge.

Renowned expert in the field of mental health and trauma, Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, will serve as keynote speaker at the summit. He will discuss how trauma interrupts human development and what therapists can do to help children who have experienced trauma. Dr. Perry, who recently was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on 60 Minutes, is a psychiatrist and the Founder and Senior Fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Perry developed the Neurosequential Model, which is a developmentally-informed, biologically-respectful approach to working with at-risk children and their families that has revolutionized the trauma-informed community. Pressley Ridge is in the final stages of certification as a Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics flagship site through the ChildTrauma Academy.

Following the keynote, Michelle McMurray, MSW, will discuss her personal experiences surrounding mental health and culture and how it has led to a compassionate pursuit of system change. She strives to improve access to high-quality physical and mental health care for low-income and racial and ethnic minority populations and to strengthen small, community-based nonprofits.

The summit will feature a panel discussion around trauma-informed care and future action. In addition to Dr. Perry and Ms. McMurray, panel members include:

  • Walter Smith, Jr., PhD, founder of The Western Pennsylvania Family Center and former executive director of Family Resources, a child abuse treatment and prevention organization in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Joyce James, LMSW-AP, CEO and owner of Joyce James Consulting based in Central Texas, focuses on supporting and developing leaders toward a race equity analysis using data and racial equity principles that lead to systems transformation and the achievement of equity.
  • Dr. Dennis Daley, PhD, former Senior Clinical Director of Substance Use Services, Behavioral Health Integration Division, UPMC Insurance Division; former Director of Regional Research & Training Center of Appalachian Tri-State node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Clinical Trials Network; and former Chief of Addiction Medicine Services, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic

The 2019 Building Connections and Hope for the Future Trauma Summit will be held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in McCandless Twp., PA. The summit is made possible through the generous support of Highmark, Inc. and the Staunton Farm Foundation. For more information on Pressley Ridge, visit

Pressley Ridge provides individuals and families with hope and support through life’s challenges. We pride ourselves on partnering with families and meeting them where they are, when they need it the most. Each year, 8,000 children and families are strengthened through community-based mental health services, foster care and adoption, specialized education and new services for transition-age youth. Our more than 70 programs all share a common goal of establishing stable, healthy families and life-long connections that result in a successful, happy life. Pressley Ridge was founded in 1832 and remains headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A legacy of successful outcomes has allowed the organization to expanded services to communities in Central Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

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Source: PRWeb
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