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Artists in the ACE and Resilience Movement: Creative Avenues to Change

  • Dec 28, 2016
Anndee Hochman

They began with a song and ended with a poem. In-between, there were photographs and giant graphic renderings, movement exercises and a “human pulse” formed when 90 people stood in a circle and squeezed each other’s hands.

At a June summit in Whatcom County, Washington, titled “Our Resilient Community: A Community Conversation on Resilience and Equity,” the arts played a starring role.

Kristi Slette, executive director of the Whatcom Family and Community Network, one of two Washington sites participating in the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) project, says the arts—music, dance, sculpture, storytelling—can help audiences understand trauma, resilience and hope in a visceral way.

“When the research and the data don’t pull you in, interacting with the arts communicates with people in a way they’re open to,” she says. “It extends our reach.”

Business Leaders in the ACE and Resilience Movement: A Different Kind of Bottom Line

  • Nov 22, 2016
Anndee Hochman

The owner of the biggest construction firm in Walla Walla, Washington, sat through a February 2013 seminar that framed adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in ways a business person could understand: how childhood trauma could translate into low productivity, high turnover, sinking morale and rising health care costs.

The top cause of on-the-job injury at the construction firm was substance abuse by young male workers. Suddenly, the dots connected. The owner leaned toward Teri Barila, co-founder of the Community Resilience Initiative, and said, “Now I know what you’ve been trying to tell us.”

Sonoma County ACEs & Resiliency Fellowship Begins

  • Oct 25, 2016

Santa Rosa, CA  –  October 25, 2016  –  The Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) announces the start of an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Resiliency Fellowship that will train 25 community members to serve our county as community educators.

Organizations in Philadelphia launch a Trauma-Informed Funders Guide

  • Oct 14, 2016

Responding to the overwhelming demand of funders in the Delaware Valley to better understand the impacts of trauma on our region and how they can apply trauma informed practices to their own work, Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey partnered to produce Trauma-Informed Philanthropy: A Funder's Resource Guide for Supporting Trauma-Informed Practice in the Delaware Valley.

First Responders in the ACE and Resilience Movement: Addressing Secondary Trauma and Building Community

  • Oct 07, 2016
Anndee Hochman

Two years ago, Kansas City Police Captain Darren Ivey had never heard of secondary trauma. But he could see how the relentless stress of police work chewed away at the personal lives of officers.

“What I started seeing was…how many department members had attempted suicide, how many domestic violence calls we responded to on our own people, how many DUI calls,” he said. “We’ve been told to suck it up, and it’s killing us.”

That’s why Ivey was eager to work with members of his own department, Truman Medical Center, and Trauma Matters Kansas City (TMKC) to develop a training on trauma and resilience for first responders. Ivey now sits on the Steering Committee for Resilient KC, a partnership between TMKC and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce that aims to build a healthy and resilient community...This spring, he took part in a two-day First Responders Summit in Tarpon Springs, Florida—a half-day session hosted by Peace4Tarpon at St. Petersburg College that reached participants from 28 different agencies including 911 dispatch, police, fire and corrections, followed by a smaller, more in-depth training.


Youth Leadership in the ACE and Resilience Movement

  • Sep 06, 2016
Anndee Hochman

Two volunteers race against the clock to stack red Solo cups into the highest tower they can manage.

Queenie Smith keeps knocking them down.

After the one-minute exercise, Smith, who is leading this hour-long training on trauma and resilience along with two colleagues, explains to her audience that the game is a metaphor: “You constantly build up your life goals, but ACEs keep knocking them down.”

The exercise works because participants respond in exactly the same way individuals respond to adversity: some give up in frustration, some lower their standards, and some just keep plugging away.

It’s also a powerful exercise because Smith and her co-trainers are teenagers, members of the Youth Healing Team at Hopeworks ‘N Camden, an organization that uses a trauma-informed approach while teaching web design and other skills to help youth ages 14-23 return to school or find meaningful work.

Walla Walla: Collective Action and Data Drive Trauma-Informed Change

  • Aug 25, 2016

By: Larke N. Huang, Ph.D., Director, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity; Rebecca Flatow, Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation; Mary Blake, SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services

Six cities were invited to SAMHSA for a listening session to present their innovative approaches to addressing trauma.  This blog is part of a series that highlights community approaches in selected implementation domains and how each city is working to create safer and healthier places to live, learn, work and play.

Moving toward the ACEs tipping point: Communities, their ACEs initiatives and ACEs billboards

  • Aug 22, 2016

David Bornstein, a columnist for the New York Times, posted the third of a three-part series (Putting the power of self-knowledge to work) about communities that are integrating trauma-informed and resilience-building practices based on ACEs science. (Part one —Tapping a troubled neighborhood’s inner strength, and part two — How community networks stem childhood traumas.)

It’s a terrific series, with information that we can all use, and I highly recommend reading them all. 

Some members of ACEsConnection appear in the series. (Laura Porter, Teri Barila, Dr. Vincent Felitti were in the first two). 

And so many, many more don’t appear, which is all to say that it’s just incredible how many people and communities have started along this ACEs journey in the last few years. By “many people", I mean the 10,359 people who are members of ACEsConnection (as of this writing), plus hundreds of others who haven't found us yet. By "many communities”, I mean the neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties, regions, states and nations, which number in the low hundreds now.

Once they decide to embrace ACEs, some communities embark on a guided journey, and have participated or are participating in the Sanctuary Institute’s certification program or the National Council on Behavioral Health’s Trauma-Informed Learning Community. Others are part of initiatives, such as Building Community Resilience and the Change in Minds initiative. Most communities start on their own. A few people hear about ACEs science, the light bulb goes on, and they say, “This knowledge can help us finally solve our most intractable problems! Let’s get started!”

Montana’s an example of a self-starter. Todd Garrison learned about ACEs science in 2008 and jumped on the small ACEs bandwagon that existed at that time. He'd been doing fund-raising and project development with Montana-based Intermountain, a 100-year-old organization nationally recognized for its work in treating children with emotional and mental health issues.