“From Stories of Trauma to Stories of Hope” World Mental Health Day Panel Discussion

From Stories of Trauma to Stories of Hope
World Mental Health Day 2020 Panel Discussion

For World Mental Health Day 2020, THRIVEGulu hosted a wonderful panel discussion focused on the power of claiming one’s voice and telling one’s story as a means of healing.

Moderated by THRIVEGulu Executive Director, YANA New England chapter leader & long-time Member Mick Hirsch (M.Div. ’03). Panelists include psychiatrist Dr. Omar Reda, theologian Dr. Natalie Wigg-Stevenson (M.Div. ’05), and THRIVEGulu Country Director Dora Alal Single.

October 10, 2020
Program of interest sponsored by YANA-member-led NGO


Takeaways from Program (contributed by Toddy Turrentine SOM ’80, YANA Regional Group Chair, Fairfield County, CT):

  • There is an invisible world of trauma.
  • There are cultural differences in how different communities experience trauma.
  • Westerners often define trauma as a single event. Generational trauma can be passed on.
  • Trauma is not just what happens, but the victim’s interpretation of it.
  • This may include feeling stigma and self-loathing, regressing to younger behavior, withdrawal, and fear of “The Other”.
  • Perpetrators may have used culture and religion as weapons of war, either taking them away or imposing them.
  • Survival includes:
    • Not letting others define your trauma
    • Taking control of your own narrative in a way that holds meaning.
    • Acknowledging the right to your emotions, but redirecting them to pride in your own coping skills, resilience, and hope.

Event Video


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