Empower Missouri talks about why everyone is affected by childhood trauma

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Central Chapter of Empower Missouri and guests gathered to talk about why it is in everybody's interest to limit and help heal children impacted by trauma.

Dr. Patsy Carter, the Director of Children's Clinical Services at the Missouri Department of Mental Health, spoke to around 40 guests in Jefferson City Thursday night about this issue.

She delivered her speech entitled "Trauma and Adverse Child Experiences" in order to raise awareness on the dangers of childhood trauma and to educate people on how trauma should be handled.

Empower Missouri's Executive Director Jeanette Mott Oxford said it is typical for children impacted by trauma that goes ignored, to live a life of crime and addiction which affects the mid-Missouri community.

"If things don't help that child heal, then that child's brain will develop in a way that has little impulse control, often that will be sort of the flight-or-fight mentality about life. And a lot of choices will be made that often lead to things like school failure, to dropout, to mental health issues, where someone might choose to self medicate with alcohol, drugs, and become an addict. With addiction comes the need to steal sometimes, in order to feed your habit, which leads to crime in our communities, which leads to high costs of incarceration," Mott Oxford said.

The dinner also served as a fundraiser in order for Empower Missouri that has many purposes.

"We are a citizen organization. We advocate for the well being of all Missourians through civic leadership, education and research. We've been around since 1901 and focus on social issues such as poverty and hunger," Mott Oxford said.

The next Empower Missouri Central Chapter meeting is Wednesday, October 19 at 11:30 a.m. at 308 E. High Street, Jefferson City.