Loving Presence over Time

Ian North

“More than anything else, being able to feel safe with other people defines mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.”
 
- Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. in The Body Keeps the Score

 

Last week, I took a short break to rest, reflect, and reset for Presencia’s summer work. I spent a lot of my time reading books on child development, trauma, and mental health. 

We weren’t well versed on the neuroscience when we started this work. But we did build Presencia in partnership with our neighbors on the foundation of authentic relationships. We all realized that was what we needed!

As I read about what children need to grow, connect with others, and lead healthy lives, I was amazed at how recent research is affirming the relational approach we grew with our neighbors. Loving presence over time really is the key to healthy lives!

That’s why our students connect with mentors from their neighborhood who walk with them over the years. In a safe space within our community, we work with our students to meet their needs for care, communication, tutoring, food, play, and stable relationships.

This week, we launch our summer programming, and part of our work will be equipping our staff to care for their own mental and relational health and pass that on to their students. I’ll be sharing stories and findings along the way over the course of the summer.

If you want to read along with us, our staff will be reading “Befriend Your Brain” by Faith G. Harper, PhD. You can order a copy from the publisher here. It’s also available on Thriftbooks, Audible, and wherever else you get books.



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