The mental health community often works to help individuals cope with personal traumas, but another kind of trauma lingers under the surface impacting us all. Community trauma, also called collective trauma, is thought of as a shared experience or set of experiences or a traumatic event that has broader social consequences.

Community trauma can stem from singular events that send shock waves through a community, such as the recent shooting of Black teenager Ralph Yarl, who was seriously injured after knocking on the door of a White homeowner. It can also stem from historical and persistent community traumas such as institutional racism or sexism.

These social consequences play out in many ways including:

Economic: long-term unemployment, loss of jobs, and intergenerational poverty.
Educational: unequal access to educational or job training opportunities.
Physical Space: crumbling or unhealthy buildings or public spaces.
Inter-personal: deteriorating social networks, social norms, and collective/political influence.

The Metro Council of Behavioral Mental Health Centers is sponsoring a community-wide dialogue about this critical issue impacting the welfare of our communities:

2023 Mental Health KC Fall Symposium

Topic: Addressing Community Trauma and Building Resilience
Tuesday, October 17
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Johnson County Arts And Heritage Center
8788 Metcalf Avenue Overland Park, KS 66212
Keynote speaker Dr. Marvia Jones, Kansas City Health Department, will discuss the many ways every person (and agency) contributes to the mental health and well-being of our community. Following her address, she will engage with the panelists in a more in-depth conversation about the ways community trauma can be addressed through various sectors in our community, including public health, education, law enforcement, faith communities, and social services.

Keynote speaker:

Dr. Marvia Jones from the Kansas City Health Department


Dr. Marvia Jones from the Kansas City Health Department
Jennifer Manuleleua from the Community Services League in Independence
Pastor Michael Brooks from Oasis Church International in Raytown
Erik Erazo from the Olathe School District
Sergeant Stewart Brought from the Overland Park Police Department and his K9

Join us to learn more about practical steps we can collectively take as a community to build resilience and create a more equitable world.