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Shared Learnings

From Awareness to Action, with Voices of Lived Experience: Wisconsin’s Collective Impact Initiative

  • May 20, 2020
By:
Anndee Hochman

Perhaps it wasn’t the optimum time to update the network’s vision and values statements: a virtual meeting held in the midst of a global pandemic.

But a record number of people—51, compared to the typical 30—tuned in for the May 1 Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH) Collective Impact Council, and they gave the new values statement, which highlights inclusivity and collaboration, an enthusiastic thumbs-up.


Power of Networks Tapped for National Trauma Campaign

  • May 12, 2020
By:
Anndee Hochman

In a mid-April conference call led by the Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP), participants from around the country—many of them active in ACEs, trauma and resilience networks—discussed the wave of trauma that is certain to slam communities in the wake of COVID-19.

They also cheered a bit of hopeful news: the announcement of $3 billion in federal funding, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, a portion of the CARES Act. The funds are flexible block grants for K-12 and higher education—meaning that they could, with swift and nimble advocacy, be used to develop and support trauma-informed schools. In addition, local education agencies may use a portion of the $14 billion they receive under the CARES Act to implement trauma-informed programs.

For CTIPP’s National Trauma Campaign, launched in February, COVID-19 means both urgency and opportunity.


Alive and Well: Moving Missouri Toward Grass-Roots and System-Wide Change

  • Apr 28, 2020
By:
Anndee Hochman

On the eastern edge of Missouri, leaders of the Alive and Well network had generated a robust media campaign to help people understand the impact of trauma and toxic stress on health and well-being. There was a monthly column in an African-American newspaper, spots about toxic stress and resilience on urban radio stations and weekly public service features on the NBC affiliate, with physicians, clergy and teachers advocating ways to “be alive and well.”

Two hundred and fifty miles to the west, a similar cross-sector coalition, Resilient KC, was sponsoring workshops, hosting a learning collaborative and recruiting community “ambassadors” who could bring the science of ACEs and resilience to clients, colleagues and policy-makers in business, the armed services, education, justice and health care.

On both sides of the state, those networks saw their grant funding trickling to an end. So they decided to join forces, share strategies and form a not-for-profit organization that could spread the impact of their work across Missouri and the region.


What's Next? Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative Deepens Efforts as Momentum Grows Across the State

  • Apr 22, 2020
By:
Anndee Hochman

It was more than a piece of parchment bearing the governor’s signature. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s resolution declaring May 15, 2019 as the state’s first Trauma-Informed Awareness Day marked a high-level recognition that, where state policy is concerned, trauma matters.

The resolution and resulting proclamation Pritzker signed also calls for legislators to consider childhood brain development, early adversity and buffering relationships when making policy decisions; it urges all state employees whose work involves children and families to learn about ACEs and trauma-informed care.

The legislation was one more step in a years-long journey of education, training, data-collection, research and networking by the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative at Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, a policy and advocacy think tank focused on health equity.


Mobilizing ACEs, Trauma, and Resilience Networks to Support and Strengthen Pandemic Response Efforts

  • Apr 15, 2020
By:
Anndee Hochman

“What are your signs of stress?” asked the leaders of a recent mindfulness webinar hosted by the Philadelphia ACE Task Force (PATF), held during the week that U.S. cases of COVID-19 neared half a million and more than sixty Philadelphians had died of the disease.

Participants spilled their responses into the chat box: “headache…teeth grinding…can’t think clearly…nervous stomach…ruminating thoughts…muscle pain…itchiness…bad dreams.”


Unconditional Love: Faith Leaders as Agents of Change in the ACEs and Resilience Movement

  • Sep 13, 2019
By:
Anndee Hochman

The Rev. Sanghoon Yoo learned about the ACE Study, saw the film Paper Tigers and understood that there might be a way to bridge the chasm between faith-based views of wellness and traditional approaches to mental health.

“When I heard from the science and Paper Tigers that one of the most important factors for resilience is unconditional love, I thought: That’s not medical. That’s my language. That was an ‘aha’ moment for me; I never thought mental health and faith would go together.”


Maine Resilience Building Network: Catalyzing a Statewide Movement

  • Aug 29, 2019
By:
Anndee Hochman

In 2019, the Maine Resilience Building Network grew up. After seven years of operating as a volunteer-driven, grass-roots, cross-sector coalition devoted to building resilience for the state’s children, families and communities, MRBN developed a business plan, applied for non-profit status and hired its first two paid staff.

That work was supported by the Bingham Program, a charitable endowment at Tufts Medical Center and a longtime funder of MRBN, formed in 2012 to educate individuals and organizations across Maine about ACEs, their impact and the protective factors that can help people thrive.

Members of the volunteer leadership team leapt at the prospect of having paid staff and being able to “continue this work in a more meaningful and organized manner,” says Kini-Ana Tinkham, who moved from the leadership team to become MRBN’s executive director. “We just hit the ground running; there’s so much work to be done.”


Iowa ACEs 360: Catalyzing a Movement

  • Aug 20, 2019
By:
Anndee Hochman

For years, advocates for a statewide children’s mental health system would stand before Iowa legislators and speak passionately about their own particular concerns.                                           

Psychiatrists pointed to a need for more inpatient beds for youth with severe mental illness. Pediatricians said the answer was better screening to identify mental health issues in children from birth to age five. Educators wanted more school-based mental health services, and advocates from grassroots groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) asked for increased crisis services.

“We were all saying, ‘Throw money at this issue,’” says Chaney Yeast, co-chair of the policy coalition of Central Iowa ACEs 360, a multi-sector network formed in 2012. “That confused legislators; they felt it was this black hole, and they didn’t act.”


Arizona ACE Consortium: Catalyzing a Statewide Movement

  • Aug 16, 2019
By:
Anndee Hochman

The elementary school principal routinely broke into tears.

At Wednesday afternoon meetings of the Creating Trauma Sensitive Arizona Schools work group, a committee of the Arizona ACE Consortium, the leader of a high-need, inner-city K-5 school frequently wept as she talked about the trauma her students carried into the classroom and the ways it percolated throughout her campus: in lagging test scores, behavior problems, even teacher retention.

The other committee members became her cheering squad, recalls Marcia Stanton, senior program specialist in the Center for Family Health and Safety at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and leader of the ACE Consortium from its 2007 inception until this year. The classroom teachers, superintendents and behavioral health specialists at the table asked questions of the principal: Who is your community? What would inspire people to become involved? How can we help?


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