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  • Writer's pictureRobert Kilkenny, PhD

Trauma-Informed School Mental Health with Culturally Responsive, Anti-Racist & Equity lens: from AI

Robert Kilkenny, EdD, Northeast Regional Site Director & Meg Smith, MSW, LICSW, ACSW

Workforce Development Coordinator, Center for Trauma Care in Schools

We all interact with a chat bot each time we call customer service centers, airline reservations, banks, online store returns, etc. Now, there’s a new spin on chat bots because they’re suddenly and supposedly “intelligent”! With the introduction of Open AI’s ChatGPT the game has changed by making artificial intelligence (AI) accessible to the masses. In simple terms, Open AI’s ChatGPT is described (or describes itself!) as a “computer program that can understand and ‘talk’ to us in a way that’s very close to conversing with an actual human.” Chat GPT reportedly has access to around 175 billion pieces of information (increasing every day) and is able to recall and make “intelligent” and articulate sense of them almost instantly! It is being used by millions of us to generate the writing of emails, essays, newsletters and even blogposts!

So, we thought we’d give it a try and have “CHATGPT Plus” generate a blogpost on Trauma-Informed School Mental Health. It spits out what you see below in less than 10 seconds. See how you think they (it?) did. Did it leave out elements you would have included? Did it include things you might not have thought of? Is it accurate?

We entered the following query:

Trauma-Informed School Mental Health with a Culturally Responsive, Anti-Racism and Equity lens

ChatGPT Plus Response:

Title: Empowering Healing and Equity: A Culturally Responsive, Anti-Racist Lens on Trauma-Informed School Mental Health

Introduction: In the pursuit of creating safe and supportive educational environments, trauma-informed school mental health must be viewed through a lens that embraces cultural responsiveness, anti-racism, and equity. By integrating these perspectives, schools can ensure that trauma-informed practices address the unique needs of diverse student populations while actively challenging systemic racism and fostering equitable outcomes. This blog explores the powerful combination of trauma-informed school mental health with a culturally responsive, anti-racist, and equity-focused approach.

Understanding Trauma-Informed School Mental Health:

Begin by explaining the core principles of trauma-informed school mental health. Emphasize the recognition of trauma's impact on students' mental health, the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment, and the promotion of resilience and academic success.

Cultural Responsiveness: Valuing Diverse Perspectives and Experiences: Discuss the significance of cultural responsiveness within trauma-informed practices. Explain that cultural responsiveness entails respecting and incorporating students' diverse cultural backgrounds, experiences, and identities. Highlight the importance of adapting interventions, materials, and approaches to reflect students' cultural perspectives and needs.

Anti-Racism and Equity: Dismantling Barriers and Promoting Fairness: Address the crucial role of anti-racism and equity in trauma-informed school mental health. Explain that anti-racism involves actively challenging and dismantling systemic racism, biases, and discrimination. Emphasize the need to address the specific traumas and disparities faced by racially marginalized students and foster equitable access to resources and opportunities.

Integrating a Culturally Responsive, Anti-Racist, and Equity Lens: Provide practical strategies for integrating these perspectives into trauma-informed school mental health practices:

Culturally Competent Staff and Leadership: Promote diversity and cultural competency within the school community by hiring and retaining a diverse staff that reflects students' backgrounds. Offer professional development on cultural competence, anti-racism, and equity to educators and administrators.

Culturally Affirming Curriculum and Instruction: Infuse the curriculum with diverse perspectives, histories, and experiences that reflect the students' backgrounds. Incorporate culturally relevant teaching strategies and materials, ensuring that students see themselves and their cultures represented positively.

Community Engagement and Partnerships: Forge partnerships with community organizations, families, and cultural experts to enhance trauma-informed practices. Engage in dialogue and collaborative decision-making with community stakeholders to ensure that interventions are culturally sensitive and appropriate.

Bias Awareness and Mitigation: Provide training and support for educators and staff to recognize and address biases and microaggressions within the school environment. Foster a climate of open dialogue, promoting cultural understanding and empathy.

Culturally Responsive Mental Health Services: Ensure that mental health services are culturally responsive by providing diverse and culturally competent mental health professionals. Implement approaches that consider cultural beliefs, practices, and healing traditions. Offer resources and support in multiple languages to ensure accessibility.

Data Analysis and Equity Monitoring: Collect and analyze data on student outcomes, discipline, and mental health through an equity lens. Identify disparities and use data to inform targeted interventions that address inequities and promote equitable access to resources and opportunities.

Conclusion: By embracing a culturally responsive, anti-racist, and equity-focused approach within trauma-informed school mental health practices, educational institutions can create empowering and inclusive environments for all students. By valuing diverse perspectives, dismantling systemic racism, and fostering equity, schools can promote healing, resilience, and academic success for students from diverse backgrounds. By committing to these principles, schools contribute to the creation of a more just and equitable society, ensuring that all students have the opportunity to thrive.

End of ChatGPT Plus Response

What we received back in a matter of seconds is stunning in the same way that a Google search used to be stunning.We’ll probably take it all for granted before long, but artificial intelligence chat bots do, of course, raise all sorts of ethical and practical questions.It doesn’t list sources for the information it produces, so it’s impossible to know whether it’s plagiarizing other’s work – which we would be compounding if we claimed it as our own writing. In addition, it’s hard to know whether the information it conveys is even accurate.So, the time saved might be lost if we needed to re-word everything to avoid plagiarism, and check for ourselves the accuracy of every fact to avoid spreading misinformation.It’s still AI’s very early days so we’ll have to see whether this leads to the dark places some experts fear, or to cures for currently incurable illnesses as some predict.Meanwhile, in AIs yet-to-be-spoiled innocence it’s kind of fun to sit back and watch it work its seeming magic.


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