WV Trauma-Informed Mindfulness for Kids (WV TIME4K)

WV TIME4K is a new pilot program at Marshall University which will provide integrated services to elementary school-aged children who have been affected by the opioid epidemic. It focuses on the use of evidence-based mindfulness strategies to build coping skills for youth struggling with emotional regulation. By offering teaching resources combined with classroom activities and individualized interventions, TIME4K will cultivate a calmer, more effective learning environment for all and will underscore the importance of trauma-informed care for affected children. Legal Aid of West Virginia will assist families to resolve any outstanding legal issues, enhancing their stability and well-being, and a host of community partners will provide other services as needed.

TIME4K is currently being conducted at Spring Hill, Central City, Milton and Guyandotte Elementary Schools in Cabell County and Ceredo-Kenova, Lavalette, Kellogg and Wayne Elementary Schools in Wayne County.

How Does It Work?

  • A trained social work graduate student will be assigned to each school under the supervision of the project treatment coordinator. S/he will work with every classroom, including teachers, to teach simple mindfulness techniques that can help defuse heightened emotional situations and improve focus.
  • Students who require more intensive intervention may be referred to the program for individualized help. When a child’s guardian approves his or her participation, the navigator will work with school staff to identify opportunities for one-on-one, age-appropriate mindfulness coaching. Navigators may refer children and families to other community providers as needed. Progress will be assessed through periodic administration of the Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version (EQ-i:YV), and review of the child’s attendance, behavior, and course performance.
  • Additionally, Legal Aid of West Virginia will offer free weekly walk-in legal clinics one day per week at a targeted school to provide information and help families with unresolved legal issues achieve greater stability. This assistance is open to any family referred to the clinic by the navigator.

Why Mindfulness?

Children affected by the opioid epidemic experience stress and are at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and academic problems. Age-appropriate mindfulness coaching can help these children to understand their emotions and triggers and to establish coping skills that reduce behavior problems and disruption to their academic performance. Scholarly research finds that mindfulness practice decreases stress and anxiety, increases attention, improves interpersonal relationships, and strengthens compassion (1).

Program Referrals

If you would know a child who would benefit from TIME4K, please download and complete our referral form. Completed referral forms should be sent to Robin Looney, treatment coordinator at looney5@marshall.edu.

Community Partners

  • Cabell County Schools
  • Huntington Police Department
  • PeaceTree Center for Wellness
  • Cabell County DHHR
  • Huntington Quick Response Team
  • United Way of the River Cities
  • Cabell County Drug Court
  • Legal Aid of West Virginia
  • Wayne County DHHR
  • City of Huntington
  • Marshall University Coalition
  • Wayne County Drug Court
  • Healthy Connections Coalition
  • Marshall University Departments of Social Work and Psychology
  • Wayne County Schools

(1)Research on Mindfulness in Education. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2019, from https://www.mindfulschools.org/about-mindfulness/research