Researcher’s 5-year dedication helps children, community recover from traumatic mudslide

For five years, WSU researcher Natalie Turner worked alongside children, teachers and residents of Darrington, Wash., helping their mudslide-ravaged community understand and recover from trauma.

Turner’s story was recently featured on the website of ACEs Connection, a social network that helps prevent adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, heal trauma, and build resilience.

“How a natural disaster led one town to do something about its ACEs, past and future” explores how Turner, assistant director of WSU Extension’s Children and Family Research Unit, partnered with students and teachers, helping them understand their own response to the deadly 2014 Oso mudslide.

Turner visited Darrington Elementary School every month, sharing the science behind adverse childhood experiences, helping her partners get learning back on track and create changes that ripple out to the wider community.

By 2016, “There was a sense of calm, hope, positivity,” Turner stated in the article. “By helping adults understand the need to create safe and nurturing environments, and doing this in different communities, we are seeing the change happening.”

WSU’s Child and Family Research Unit (CAFRU) works with communities and partners to promote health and wellness for underserved and at-risk populations through research, community development, and education.

Read the ACEs Connection article here.

Turner, arms crossed, standing outside glass-walled building
Based at WSU Spokane, Natalie Turner helped children, teachers and residents of Darrington, Wash., understand and recover from trauma.