300 S. Jackson St. Suite 520 Denver, CO 80210

(303) 704-4062

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Resilience Project: School violence

Applying Mental Health for Community Good

Ardent Grove's mission is to leverage expertise in mental health -- one way we want to do that is to play our part in addressing community-level issues. There is growing awareness of how mental health impacts and interplays with various problems, and we know that if you give people information they will apply it. Our goal is to provide information to segments of the community in a way that is both supportive and relevant to existing projects and interventions. 

The greater Denver area has been at the center of this new phenomena of school-centered violence, beginning with the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 and continuing through the shooting at STEM Highlands Ranch 20 years later. This year Denver was also targeted by someone who travelled here specifically to perpetrate a school shooting  -  this unfortunate legacy has made our community even more vulnerable violence. It was these recent events and recognition of the human tendency to move on and forget we realized that as trauma specialists we have a unique and important role to play in our community. 


Resilience Project: School Violence

Trauma is on both sides of school violence events.

Trauma has been shown to be one of the risk factors to school violence as is a lack of mental health intervention. There is evidence that mental health awareness and response is an important part of  preventing events of school violence. Of course, we also need trauma awareness after an incident of school violence as each incident (or even threat) leaves the mark of trauma on many children, teachers, and parents.

Traumatic situations such as school violence and other life-threatening acts against children and adults continues to impact our community.  We look back at our experiences and work to support parents, teachers, and other community members who need to be better equipped to take care of themselves and to speak with their children about understanding, recognizing, and preventing violence through knowledge and improved mental health care. Looking forward we need to increase stress management techniques, self-care for all ages, and understanding of when to be afraid, when to react, and when to enjoy life with security. Ardent Grove presenters will help adults to recognize and address signs of trauma in themselves and children.

Ardent Grove's Resilience Project engages in community outreach in the form of presentations and discussions that focuses on trauma awareness, concerns of children, parents, and other adults, and directly addresses school violence using psycho-education in social-emotional awareness and resilience for all ages.  

A typical community event under the Resilience Project includes two discussions: 

  • One with parents and other adults that address how they might feel safe for themselves and also in caring for children in this current climate of possible violence in schools.  Additionally we discuss how to recognize the effects of trauma and responses in adults and children. 
  • Simultaneously, the second discussion is focused on helping children to develop language and identification of social-emotional needs in themselves and their friends.  In this discussion we provide different activities for children focused on empathy and kindness and identifying feelings.  

We attempt to provide these two discussions simultaneously in order to help to avoid one possible barrier to obtaining mental health support through difficulties with childcare.  By offering the social-emotional component for children in the form of teaching and childcare, we hope that more adults can attend the larger, community discussion and the children can learn skills for themselves for their own mental wellness.

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"...by educating parents to identify unresolved trauma, their new knowledge  will serve as a layer of protection to the community. "

Please contact us if you are interested in being involved with the Resilience Project or if you would like the Ardent Grove Foundation to come present.