From Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Our Youth Through Collaborative Conversations and Learning Sessions

455 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

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A half-day workshop focused on youth, where parents, educators, counselors, health practitioners and more can join in collaborative learning sessions for supporting the healthy development of our young people.

10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Doors open at 9:30 am for light refreshments and exploration of community resource tables.

Venue: Winchester Thurston Upper School Building

455 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

RSVP: Kindly register online by Friday, August 1st.

Program Schedule

9:30- 10:00 am

Light refreshments and exploration of community resource tables

10:00-10:30 am

Welcome and Opening Presentation

This opening presentation will focus on various forms of trauma, how trauma manifests in mind, body and spirit, how to identify trauma in youth, and how to develop and grow resilience to it.

10:30-10:45 am, Break

10:45-11:15 am, Breakout Session 1 (choose from list below)

11:20-12:00 Noon, Breakout Session 2 (choose from list below)

12:00-1:00 pm, Lunch: Light snacks will be provided. Please bring a bag lunch.

1:00-1:30 pm, Breakout Session 3 (choose from list below)

1:30-2:00 pm, Q&A, closing remarks

Breakout Sessions:

Breakout sessions will be published here as finalized.

OMA’s primary goal is to create collaborative conversations regarding  the impact of trauma on one’s cognitive, emotional, and physical development as well as their interpersonal relationships and life choices. We will strive to identify needs and plan for systemic change in youth development and education programs in the Pittsburgh area.

Through collaborative conversations and learning sessions, we can grow and develop greater awareness about the needs that exist for healthy youth development. We are dedicated to teaching youth how to recognize and effectively manage their emotions in order to mitigate and prevent harmful effects of early childhood adversity and trauma. In order to do this, adult mentors and educators must be trained in these skills.

Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to learn a variety of holistic skills that can be used to support the healthy development of mind, body, and spirit—their own and that of youth.

We are committed to transparency, openness, honesty, respect, trust, active engagement, collaboration, communication, inclusivity and equity for all.


Beliefs: We believe that healing can only take place when the silence is broken, and that healing is possible when we work in collaboration. Through this collaborative model, and with the intentional creation of community partnerships, we believe we can rebuild an integrated support system for our youth so as to support the proactive development of resilience.

Vision: We envision a world in which all youth and all individuals have access to best practices that support and develop resiliency and the ability to grow in their understanding of connectedness to themselves, each other, and our earth. We envision a world in which all youth are supported and know—in deep and lasting ways—the interconnectedness of all living beings, and the ways in which we are all whole and all belong.


1. We plan to continue these trainings, conversations, and workshops throughout the upcoming year.

Our goal is to make holistic methods accessible to all. We believe these events support efforts to deepen our networks of support while strengthening the resiliency of our region by acknowledging our shared struggles and celebrating opportunities for growth and mutual aid.

2. Through collaboration, deepen our collective wisdom about how to address, prevent, and mitigate adverse experiences, trauma, and abuse.

These events, in connection with others, are intentionally designed to bridge communities throughout the region and to connect mental health practitioners, community organizers, political leaders, physical health practitioners, integrative and holistic health practitioners, researchers, public policy advocates, the public health community, individual community members, and educators as a way to bring multiple voices into connection and to deepen the wisdom of the group. We believe that theory and practice are one, and that no theory of trauma can stand apart from understanding and listening to the lived experience of individuals.

3. Call policy makers, institutions, and health practitioners to take action in addressing trauma prevention and care in educational settings as a collective public need.

We will outreach community leaders and public officials in trauma-effected communities, inviting them to share their insights and develop action plans implementing holistic health treatment. OMA’s mission is to provide holistic wellness services and education to all people regardless of income, and our holistic and mental health practitioners aim to partner with trauma-effected communities to help deliver these services where they are needed. It is our hope that these events will instigate not only action plans but funding streams to support vibrant mental and holistic health in our region in order to break cycles of abuse, violence, and human suffering.

4. OMA is planning OMA Presents: A Trauma Symposium for the Healing of All Generations. Leading up to the symposium are four community-based “Trauma Conversations,” the first of which occurred on April 24, 2018 at Manchester Elementary School. These conversations are designed to break silences and create safe spaces for exploring trauma at the individual, family, and community level. The community Trauma Conversations also build our audience for the Trauma Symposium, as with each event we will develop networks of individuals interested in exploring trauma care further.

--October 2018, Community Trauma Conversation #2
--March 2019, Community Trauma Conversation #3
--May 2019, Community Trauma Conversation #4
--Fall 2019, Three-day Trauma Symposium


  1. Collaborate with existing organizations and individuals to provide all adults, educators, caregivers with a set of skills to facilitate the development of compassionate awareness of various types trauma.
  2. Support educators, childcare providers, and individuals with knowledge useful for recognizing and understanding the symptoms and manifestations of trauma in youth.
  3. Through collaborative conversations and learning sessions, share best practices for the teaching of holistic and accessible skills that support the healthy development of mind, body and spirit in our youth.
  4. Share accessible and holistic skills individuals can use to support youth in their ability to understand, cope, and heal from trauma. In particular, we will support adults in developing deep breathing practices, mindfulness practices, emotional freedom techniques, strengthening conflict transformation skills, building skills that foster supportive relationships with adults and with youth, and supporting youth in developing resilience and social and emotional intelligence.
  5. Identification of needs and plan for systemic change to support all youth in their ability to move from surviving to thriving.  
  6. Development of guidelines and protocol that support the accessibility and implementation of best practices that promote and cultivate resiliency in youth.
  7. Support, highlight, and integrate community programs and resources currently existing in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

We are ALL Teachers

T Trauma- Informed

E Education

A And

C Collaboration

H Helps

E Empower

R Resilience &

S Social Emotional Learning


Hosted by OMA
Sponsored by WT Summer Camp Rocks! and WTAfter3

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