Dr. Yolanda Graham, Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical/Chief Medical Officer for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Dr. Yolanda Graham, SVP at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health discussed the non-profit, founded and based in Philadelphia, today a national organization with schools, inpatient and outpatient treatment services and residential facilities in 13 states.  She described Devereux’s programs for adults and children with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences, individuals with autism, developmental or intellectual disabilities.  We discussed the effects of trauma on children, describing the forms it can take and how it effects brain development, leading to a lifetime of difficulties, including dropping out, behavioral issues, physical illness, addiction and suicide and its cost to society in care and lost productivity.  Dr. Graham spoke of the Devereux Center for Resiliency and its work to counter trauma with counseling and developed emotional skills to help cope.  Finally, we discussed her work with the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children program, describing how vulnerable children, often sexually abused by their families, runaways, are recruited into sex trafficking, many time by other youth, and explaining Derveux’s approach to teaching body ownership and self-healing.