Young trauma survivors heal themselves to help others


“I attended the graduation of the previous class last year, who gave themselves a name: the Healers. They went on to work as peer specialists and community health-care workers. Sometimes, they are sent to a gunshot victim’s bedside to help them through their trauma. Others help navigate the maze of the behavioral health and health-care systems.

Too often, said Casey Chanton, a project manager at Drexel, those positions aren’t filled by young men of color, much less young men who have been through the kind of trauma their clients see. The peer project hopes to change that.

Meeting the Healers was such a powerful experience that I wanted to follow the next class — the third in as many years — who have decided to be called the Game Changers. (‘The game is designed for us to lose,’ said Michael Luna, 30, one of the class members. ‘We chose the Game Changers because we’re going to change that narrative.’) And that’s where I met Nasir, back in May, who was only just allowing himself to open up to his classmates.”

This opinion piece in The Philadelphia inquirer highlights the stories of members of the Game Changers, a class facilitated through Drexel University’s Community Health Worker Peer Project, that aims to train young men of color to identify and treat trauma.

Read the the full story here.