As I sit at my desk writing this column I am reminded how September arrives with fresh cool air that hints at fall and the months that follow.  I hope you enjoyed a summer that offered time to relax, refuel, and restore you so you return with new vigor and energy.

We have a year planned with a focus on Helping Youth Cope with Grief, Trauma and Loss.  Our goal is to provide adults insights and practical information for addressing the critical and challenging issues that accompany loss and trauma.  While I fervently wish I had the magical capacity to protect every child from experiencing grief, trauma and loss my wise mind knows better.  We understand that children react and respond differently to loss and trauma based on developmental stage and experience.  We also know that we can have a fundamental impact on helping to insure the developmental journey is not interrupted by responding with care and attention appropriately to children, families and communities when loss or trauma occurs.  Immediately after the trauma in New York City on September 11th our community came together in a powerful and incredibly important way.  The universality of understanding the grief provided a safe sanctuary for our community to come together.  While that tragedy is now history we unfortunately know that trauma and loss still are a part of the fabric of life and that we must be educated and able to respond to youth and families to prevent further trauma and tragedy.  By confronting the difficult subject we hope to reduce risk and increase resilience for all youth, families, and communities.

We will be hosting speakers through the year and having workshops covering a variety of issues related to Grief, Trauma and Loss.  By doing so, we will come together and weave a strong fabric consisting of adults ready to respond and care for those who are in need and at risk.