MINNEAPOLIS — Children who experience trauma can have a hard time coping and regaining their developmental progress. But, for 26 years, a non-profit in Minneapolis has focused on helping kids feel safe and secure after traumatic experiences. 

Now, that program is growing. Libby Bergman is the executive director of the Family Enhancement Center in Minneapolis.

Thanks to a $100,000 state grant, she said the nonprofit will expand mental health services to children impacted by sexual abuse. Now, Bergman says funding allows the center to move from 8 to 11 full time therapists. And they hope to reduce the waiting list from 4 months to 2 weeks.

“Gratitude. I am so grateful for the state grant that we have gotten,” she said. “It will allow us to do so much more therapy for children who have been abused and reduce our waiting list. That is actually one of the reasons that the legislature went ahead and allowed us to have this grant. Our waiting list has been four to six months for years.”

She said a lot of things can happen during the wait for help. Her biggest concern, families skip getting the therapy they need.

“The thing I worry about the most is that they will go ahead and decide I don't want to deal with this and I don’t want to get help,” she said.

Bergman said one in five children who experience sexual abuse in the unites states will need help.

The family enhancement Center uses body centered movements like yoga, art and drumming and other techniques to help heal victims of sexual abuse.

“We talk about the flight, fight or flee. When kids fight in here they always win. That is what they need to experience to overcome fear and terror they have gone through,” she said. “Trampolines are good to release that flight urge and getting away from the trauma. When the trauma of sexual abuse happens; your whole neurological system is impacted by trauma. To heal it you have to work with the body as well as the brain.”