June 22, 2020

Coping with trauma on the frontline of COVID-19

Coping with trauma on the frontline of COVID-19

Responding to the mental health needs of communities across Howard County is a key focus for the Horizon Foundation – one that has become only more important as COVID-19 added to stress, fear and grief for so many.

The Foundation will host a Trauma Series on July 8 at 12 p.m. focused on a group hit especially hard by those challenges: our front-line workforce, including healthcare workers, first responders, pharmacy and grocery-store staff and other vital employees. The forum will offer resources to help “essential workers” who don’t have the option to remove themselves from the pressures of this crisis, and who may more acutely feel the effects of trauma now and into the future.

This virtual event will include personal reflections from trauma survivors, followed by advice from mental health professionals on how to process and navigate through traumatic experiences. An agenda for the event and details on the speakers are below.

Register for free.

Featured Speakers

Chris Fields
Former Major of the Oklahoma City Fire Department and Oklahoma City Bombing Responder

Chris is a former member of the Oklahoma City Fire Dept. Chris joined the fire dept on July 12, 1985, promoting through the ranks and retiring as a Major March 1, 2017, serving the citizens of Oklahoma City for 31 years. Chris was captured in a photo that became an iconic symbol of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 when he was cradling the body of 1 year old Baylee Almon. Chris has now dedicated his life and travels to speak to other first responders. He discusses the brutal realities of a life spent responding to citizens in their darkest hours. He routinely places others before himself and represents the greater good in all of us. Chris tells the story of his life, his 31 years of public service and how that day in 1995 all combined to take a toll on his life and family. He suffered in silence for many years. Now he shares how with God, Faith and Family he took control and his journey out of suffering in hopes of helping others avoid the pitfalls and to encourage them to reach out.

Jason “Jay” Redman
Retired Navy Seal, Wounded Warrior and NY Times Bestselling Author

Jason “Jay” Redman was born in a small town in Ohio and attended schools in Ohio, North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida before graduating from Lumberton High School. He joined the Navy on September 11, 1992 and began his naval career at boot camp in Orlando. On September 13, 2007, while acting as Assault Force Commander on an operation to capture an Al Qaeda high value individual, Lt. Redman’s assault team came under heavy fire and he along with two other teammates were wounded in the fight. Despite being shot twice in the arm and once in the face, as well as multiple rounds to his helmet, night vision goggles, body armor and weapon, Jason and his team fought valiantly, winning the fight and getting everyone home alive. In 2019, Jason released his 2nd book, “Overcome: How to crush adversity with leadership techniques of America’s toughest warriors”, a step-by-step action plan on how to deal with major adversity in our physical, personal and professional lives.

Dr. Linda Henderson-Smith
Director, Children & Trauma-Informed Services, National Council for Behavioral Health

Linda Henderson-Smith, PhD, LPC, CPCS, CCMP, is a licensed professional counselor, certified professional counselor supervisor, Six Sigma Black Belt and Certified Change Management Practitioner. She has almost 20 years of clinical and administrative experience in community-based mental health. She joined the National Council in May 2016 after working at the Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health as the Director of Mental Health Planning and Policy. As a trauma-survivor herself, Linda brings a distinct perspective and knowledge base to mental health and addiction disorders services and is passionate about helping organizations and systems move towards becoming trauma-informed.

In addition to these three speakers, we will also hear recommendations from local clinicians specializing in trauma:

  • Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C, co-author of the Stages of Trauma and Recovery Model(c)
  • Dr. Joan Gillece, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Innovation in Behavioral Health Policy and Practice at the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors


We realize that workers on the “day shift” cannot leave their post for this amount of time. We will send out a recording for those workers who register so that they can watch when it most fits their busy schedules.

  • 12:00 to 12:25 PM – Personal Reflection: Chris Fields
  • 12:25 – 12:45 PM – Professional Perspective: Kate Oliver
  • 12:45 – 12:55 PM – Break
  • 12:55 to 1:15 PM – Personal Reflection: Jason “Jay” Redman
  • 1:15 to 1:35 PM – Professional Perspective: Dr. Joan Gillece
  • 1:35 to 1:45 PM – Break
  • 1:45 – 2:10 PM – Reflections and Recommendations: Dr. Linda Henderson-Smith
  • 2:10 to 2:30 PM – Speaker Q&A

Please join us for this important conversation. Register for free today!