The Bridge Documentary

“By participating in a trauma-informed community, each of us has the power to make a difference in a child’s life, and create the change we hope to see for our world. We can be the bridge to a better future.”

About the Film

In 2014, The Guidance Center faced an ever-growing waitlist of children in critical need of mental health services. These children were living in poverty, experiencing housing instability, food insecurity, and inadequate access to resources. Their circumstances lacked the safety and security for healthy emotional development and general welfare. This trauma, however, wasn’t new to their families. It had been compounded over generations.

But, what would it take to break the cycle?

Driven by the urgency to help these children and prevent others from experiencing mental health crises triggered by poverty and community violence, Patricia Costales, CEO of The Guidance Center, collaborated with other local organizations and Long Beach city officials to educate, engage and empower the community beyond sharing facts and figures.

Through interviews with families struggling with poverty and community leaders who are adopting trauma-informed practices filmed in Long Beach and on Catalina Island, “The Bridge: Pathways to a Trauma-Informed Community” documentary challenges perceptions of poverty, exposes its devastating effects on mental health, and reveals the trauma-informed approach as a part of the wider solution to breaking poverty’s intergenerational cycle.


Produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, Matthew Murray, and Patricia Costales, LCSW, CEO of The Guidance Center

Cinematography by Evan Barthelman

Original score by Emmy Award-winning composer Matt Pavolaitis and Emmy Award-nominated Colleen Grace.