HEALTH

Therapist Cate Wolff leads a trauma-sensitive yoga class in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Karen Brown / NEPR

A half-dozen yoga students were kneeling on their mats, breathing in, breathing out, in an historic, high-ceilinged second floor studio in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Children's shoes are displayed at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, press conference on child abuse awareness.
Karen Brown / NEPR

The people working on the "Trauma-Informed Berkshires" campaign have learned to explain their goals succinctly and consistently. They often repeat the catch-phrase: “Instead of asking, 'What’s wrong with you,' try asking, ‘What happened to you?’” 

It's hard to imagine anyone being against this empathic approach.

Homeless shelter beds in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Heather Brandon / NEPR

In 2007, Springfield, Massachusetts, set out a plan to end long-term homelessness within 10 years. The following year, officials and advocates from Hamden, Hampshire and Franklin counties came together to craft a similar plan.

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Many of us know from experience: it’s much harder to get an appointment for mental health or substance use care than for most physical illnesses.

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