COVID has put a large portion of the global population at risk of falling into poverty or multiplying the threats posed by poverty. We know it is most often the people who are struggling with poverty who also bear the trauma from other challenges like those posed by systemic racism. How can we best support our children and next generation in their well-being in these circumstances?
While scientists do not understand all of the mechanisms yet, there are some actions that parents can take to support their children and that we as a society can take to support parents, caregivers and children struggling with the challenges of poverty and trauma.
Learn more about ways to nurture the development of healthy minds and hearts in our children from child development experts and Center for Healthy Minds Faculty Members Sarah Short and Julie Poehlmann-Tynan.
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Faculty at the Center for Healthy Minds, Dorothy A. O’Brien Professor in Human Ecology, Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poehlmann-Tynan is a child clinical psychologist who studies child and family health disparities and well-being from an interdisciplinary perspective. The purpose of her work is to facilitate social justice for young children and their families and to understand and promote resilience processes while decreasing risk and trauma exposure.
She studies the health and social, emotional, and cognitive development of high-risk infants and young children and their families, including children with incarcerated parents, children raised by their grandparents, and children born preterm, including examining the intergenerational transmission of risk, trauma, resilience, and healing.
Faculty at the Center for Healthy Minds, Dorothy Jones King Distinguished Chair in Educational Psychology, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Short's current research focuses on the impact of poverty on brain development. Inspired by a longstanding interest in the promotion of well-being and the prevention of neurodevelopmental disorders and psychiatric illness, her early research examined prenatal influences on brain and behavioral development.
This work included investigations of the bidirectional relationships between peripheral and central biological systems. Now, moving toward her ultimate goal of conducting research that informs the design and efficacy of early interventions, Sarah's most recent research projects have included an investigation of neural plasticity associated with cognitive training in young children and the development of a Parent-Child Mindfulness Based Training program.
Richard J. Davidson
Founder, Center for Healthy Minds & Healthy Minds Innovations, William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Davidson is best known for his groundbreaking work studying emotion and the brain. A friend and confidante of the Dalai Lama, he is a highly sought after expert and speaker, leading conversations on well-being on international stages such as the World Economic Forum, where he serves on the Global Council on Mental Health. Time Magazine named Davidson one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2006.
The Developing Mind was a part of THE WORLD WE MAKE: 2020, a week-long series of virtual events that included lively conversation, well-being tips and the opportunity to hear from well-being experts and special guests, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
This event and others are supported by the generosity of individuals and organizations who share our vision of a kinder, wiser, more compassionate world.
A significant portion of our funding comes from supporters who give to the Center for Healthy Minds, enabling a variety of projects – whether it’s understanding how the brain works or bringing well-being skills out into the world.