Children experience many traumas throughout their formative years.  Some traumas are ongoing like abuse or illness, while others are sudden and episodic like an act of violence, the death of a parent or sibling or a natural disaster. 

All of these traumas are experienced as a loss for children; a loss of safety, a loss of identity, or a loss of a relationship.  Despite the trauma, children can learn to become more resilient and adapt to change, if given the right support.

How can we best support them in their homes, communities and schools?  Allowing them to share their feelings with trusted adults and peers encourages them to explore coping in healthy ways. 

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This conference will address the many issues children and families deal with when experiencing a trauma. Please join researchers and practitioners in the field for an invigorating, educational day.

This all-day conference, held at Kean University in Union, will explore topics including fostering resilience in children after trauma, using emotional regulation when treating individuals after a trauma, helping children grieve after loss and intergenerational trauma and resiliency. 

The keynote speaker will be Dante Peace, uncle of Robert Peace, whose story is told in the book The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace written by Jeff Hobbs.  The book chronicles several traumas Robert lived through as a child – some long-term and some episodic – and highlights the need for all children to get support after a trauma or loss. The first 50 registrants will also receive a free copy of the book.

This conference will highlight Imagine’s mission to normalize grief and to support people who are grieving due to any type of loss. 

“Grief and loss are a natural part of the human experience,” said Mandi Zucker, program director at Imagine.  “But the shame and secrecy surrounding so many losses creates a stigma and a resistance to talking about our own vulnerabilities. Imagine wants to reduce the stigma associated with childhood trauma so that all children can talk freely to their peers and the adults in their lives and get the support they need.”

The conference is on Nov. 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.  $99 registration fee includes lunch. Student discounts are available as well as discounts for members of the Imagine volunteer community and the Kean University faculty and staff. Continuing education credits will be available for no additional charge through Kean University Counselor Education Department. Please contact mandi@imaginenj.org or 908-264-3100 for more information, or to register go to www.imaginenj.org/events.

Imagine is a free year-round grief support center located in Westfield, serving all of Union County and beyond.  Visit our website at www.imaginenj.org.

Pictured: Keynote speaker Dante Peace, uncle of Robert DeShawn Peace. After reflecting on his nephew's life Peace wants to spread the message that all children need support after a loss of any kind, not just death.