Nebraska stakeholders; including community organizations, youth practitioners, and young adult leaders; gathered in Omaha for a two-day workshop hosted and facilitated by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed. This workshop focused on building the strengths of young people through a trauma-sensitive and resilience-building approach and help stakeholders understand that adolescence is a time of profound potential if caring adults are involved in the lives of young people.
Dr. Ginsburg is a nationally recognized pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Co-Founder of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication. He also serves as Director of Health Services at Covenant House, an agency that serves young people facing homelessness.
Over 130 Nebraska youth-serving practitioners from over 40 different organizations learned how to best support youth to develop their own solutions to social challenges and foster their internal resilience through a trauma-sensitive approach to healing. Participants were introduced to Dr. Ginsburg’s Reaching Teens toolkit – a strength-based communication tool to build resilience and support healthy adolescent development. The Reaching Teens toolkit is being implemented across Nebraska’s Connected Youth Initiative as a tool to help put the theoretical framework of Youth Thrive™ Protective and Promotive Factors into practice.
In addition to the two-day workshop, 30 young leaders from Omaha, Lincoln, and Fremont gathered for a youth-designed and youth-led dinner conversation with Dr. Ginsburg. The young leaders talked about how they can be a part of reducing the stigma associated with mental health challenges, identified key competencies of positive youth-serving organizations, and discussed the healing power of love. Several young leaders also helped Dr. Ginsburg co-facilitate table discussions on day two of the workshop. Following the workshop, interested partners will develop a learning community, together with Dr. Ginsburg, to provide support in implementing strategies discussed during the workshop, in the Reaching Teens toolkit, and as part of the Youth Thrive™ framework.