Dealing with trauma, a real life account

25 Apr 2016 12:51:57.687

PA 94/16

Dr Carolyn Mears, whose son was a survivor of the Columbine High School shootings in 1999, will be speaking at the launch of The University of Nottingham’s Criminal Justice Network on Tuesday May 3.

The event is a unique opportunity to learn more about the criminal justice expertise offered at the University through a workshop, followed by a talk from Dr Mears.

Hosted by the School of Education and supported by the Institute of Mental Health, guests will have the opportunity to hear Dr Mears’ exclusive lecture as she shares the human experience of dealing with trauma in ways that evoke deep understanding in the listener, helping us to better understand what happens when people are exposed to life-threatening events.

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The devastation of traumatic events

Dr Mears is internationally known for her work in support of communities, schools and families devastated by traumatic events.

Dr Mears said: “My work focuses on helping people to understand the long-term effects of trauma, the causes and prevalence of traumatic stress response, and how lives can be rebuilt in the aftermath. A wider understanding of trauma can help communities and individuals better prepare to meet the needs that will be faced. In fact, many of the resources and practices that promote positive recovery can help build resilience in advance of an event.

“On May 3, I will be participating in the launch of The University of Nottingham’s Criminal Justice Network. I welcome this opportunity to join in a conversation about planning for community wellbeing and the implications for educators, counsellors, criminal justice professionals, and the public at large.”

Vitally important work

Dr Gary Winship, from the School of Education at the University, said: “From the perspective of colleagues who are working at the sharper end of practice with young people in our schools (teacher, counsellors, educational psychologists, social workers), Carolyn’s work looking at responding to traumatic events, is vitally important for us all to learn from.

“Violence continues to be a growing concern in schools in the UK, but there is also something to be considered in terms of the wider experience of other traumatic events that are encountered in schools.  Thankfully, these major traumas are rare events, but we still need as much intelligence as possible about how best to respond. Carolyn Mears’ research offers us an essential underpinning, and it is useful to see how her work in the US can map onto experiences in schools in the UK.”

 The Criminal Justice Network

 Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma at the launch of the Criminal Justice Network will take place at the University’s Jubilee Campus. The event is an opportunity to find out about the University’s expertise in research and teaching on criminal justice, and our partnerships with organisations such as the police, security services, courts, prisons and probation services.

 Professor Bill Dixon, a member of the Criminal Justice Network, said: “Members of the Criminal Justice Network at the University come from a wide range of backgrounds in the natural, human and social sciences, law and humanities. It has knowledge and skills in research, teaching and continuing professional development to offer to practitioners and policy makers on everything from prison law to occupational stress, fingerprint analysis to geo-spatial modelling.”

This free event runs 11.30am-2pm and lunch is provided.

 Booking is essential – register your place online

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for three years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available from Liz Lesquereux, Knowledge Exchange Manager at

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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