Pauli Halstead: Healing trauma in our community, how we can help

We also know that with some addictions/mental illnesses/behaviors, the person does not recognize their need for help and will not take medications or go to therapy. That leaves it up to us to modify our behavior when interacting with them. Not always easy for sure!

During the time I worked with homeless individuals on the street, and while I managed Streicher House Day Center in Nevada City, I came in close contact with many people who, because of lifelong trauma, were addicted substance abusers, or were suffering from severe mental and emotional damage. For those living outside, there are the daily traumas of just staying alive out in the elements. Homeless women are especially in danger of sexual assault.

My mother was a lifelong schizophrenic, and even though she took medications, and was under a doctor’s care, the schizophrenia was never healed. She was able to hold a job, and live somewhat of a normal life, and did not wind up homeless — because she had family and medical care provided by a State hospital in 1965.