CHNK Behavioral Health is the first healthcare provider in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to have achieved certification in the internationally renown Sanctuary Model for Trauma-Informed Care, an approach that helps people who have experienced toxic childhood stress and adverse experiences. The Sanctuary Model encourages helping adults and healthcare professionals, when working with such individuals, to move away from the question, “What’s wrong with you?” to another question, “What happened to you?” The shift in question is a profound one even though the language shift may be subtle. By taking away shame, blame, and finding fault and instead moving toward a more neutral approach to the individual’s history, room is made for understanding and problem-solving.
Recently, I’ve been in some deep dive discussions with a mentor, Kim Scott, CEO of the Trillium Group in Portland, OR. Kim has been working on yet another question that he believes is absolutely necessary if one is truly going to embrace healing and resiliency in the face of toxic stress and adversity. The question is “What is possible with you?” Kim has been working with The Center for Leadership Philanthropy based out of Case Western University in Cleveland on how that exciting question could not only transform the life of a client receiving behavioral healthcare services, but all types of systems, families, businesses, and community organizations. The question makes us toy with our notion of the impossible, causes us to spend time sitting with our dreams, and calls us to see our lives in the context of something bigger.
139 years ago this month, CHNK’s founders and first benefactors established Articles of Incorporation to begin the work of a small orphanage in Covington, Kentucky. Could they have ever dreamed that their small project would grow into an organization that would serve tens of thousands of abused, neglected, at-risk, and traumatized youth, evolving into a sophisticated provider of a wide range of healthcare services in the 21st century?
Now, it’s your turn. “What’s possible with you?”