About 23 years ago, Jim Henry and four other Kalamazoo-area professionals launched the Southwest Michigan Child Trauma Assessment Center at Western Michigan University. At the time, few people knew how traumatic experiences can negatively affect the developing brain of a child. But the founders of CTAC did. And the center they created to assess traumatized children has not only become the model for similar centers across Michigan and in Colorado, but also has effected change in the state’s child-welfare system and beyond.

This story was originally published by MLive and is part of the Mental Wellness Project, a solutions-oriented journalism initiative covering mental health issues in southwest Michigan, created by the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative. SWMJC is a group of 13 regional organizations (including Watershed Voice) dedicated to strengthening local journalism. For more info, visit swmichjournalism.com.

Three Rivers Pastor James Smith writes, “God does not just work through miracle cures, but through science, medicine, and above all love. It may be that what is being tested right now is not our faith, but our love. Do we have the love to get a shot that we might not think we need but that will help us not get someone else sick? Do we have the love to come together as a country and as the world to defeat a common enemy to humanity?”