GAMBIER — A chance to share one’s thoughts, open up about any fears and learn a little bit on coping in the wake of trauma was the agenda Thursday evening when Mental Health America of Knox County hosted the public forum “Healing a Wounded Community” in Rosse Hall on the campus of Kenyon College. MHA of Knox County president Bobby Folden was overseer of the discussion and question-and-answer session with local psychologist Dr. Dennis Marikis serving as keynote speaker.
“How to cope when trauma happens in our community,” was the focus of Marikis’ presentation. He defined trauma as something that has happened that changes the way people see things in their world. “In order to understand trauma effects, we have to understand how to respond,” said Marikis. Training the brain to respond to situations is often one important facet of dealing with trauma.
In addressing situations of those who have experienced trauma, Marikis outlined two important steps: Reducing the fear response and developing a connection with each other.
One difference that must be recognized is dealing with trauma in the military community. “People in the military community, they work together,” said Marikis. “And they are supporting each other. Their training binds them together in a very dramatic way.”