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Mental Health Cooperative takes action to find ways to ease children’s minds after facing trauma

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The impacts of violence not only leave physical scars ― but mental ones as well on children. The impacts can also be worse the younger you are.

Action News 5 spoke with representatives from the Mental Health Cooperative on how to calm a child’s mind after experiencing trauma.

Memphis has had 88 killings since January, with gunshots accounting for the majority.

Each shooting triggers a different form of trauma for families, especially children.

“We see kids as young as 5 years old and all the way through their adolescent, teenage years,” said August White Executive Director, of Mental Health Cooperative.

Action News 5 went to the Mental Health Cooperative, a freshly renovated building off Summer Avenue that allows care managers to meet clients where they are and help them overcome mental health challenges.

“We want to be a resource to the community to give people an additional choice when it comes to mental health care,” said White.

The non-profit offers therapeutic and psychiatric treatments, but its primary focus is care management.

White says they pair people with a team so there’s a support system― something she says is especially important for children.

“We have the care managers, who are going into their schools, they’re going into their homes and they’re teaching them positive coping skills,” said White.

She also says parents need to talk with their children and ask the right questions.

“What are your friends saying about what happened yesterday at Walmart? And that tells you if the conversations are being had,” said White. “You know a lot of times our kids don’t want to talk to us but when you throw in that element of, so, what are other kids saying? what’s your best friend saying? You know that gives you a little more insight into what’s going on.”

White says it’s equally important for kids to know that the violence they’re seeing isn’t normal and shouldn’t be treated as such.

She says social media and online gaming also play a role in how kids perceive and understand violence.

“When you’re in those games you have seven lives to live and you re-up. But in the real world, you only have one, and they aren’t making that connection so they’re always on to pull out a gun in a game is one thing, but in real life, it creates a completely different scenario,” said White.

This is why she wants people to use the MHC, as a resource and even if their child isn’t struggling.

“Let your child be great. If they’re good, let’s get them to greatness … you know it’s OK for them to think of it as like, life-coaching, you know let me just kinda groom you into being the best version of yourself that you can be,” said White.

The Mental Health Cooperative accepts walk-in patients, as well as same-day and next-day appointments.

If insurance or funds are an issue, White says there are other services available for people to receive help.

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