Try the support network, and if you can't find your answer there, contact one of the ACEsConnection community managers: Elizabeth Prewitt, Alicia St. Andrews, Jesus Gaeta or Jane Stevens. We'll also be adding more info to the "Tips for Getting Around on ACEs Connection", below.

The Christian Post reports today that "Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who allegedly ambushed and killed two New York police officers before killing himself Saturday, had a "very troubled childhood," had been arrested 20 times for petty crimes and was violent and suicidal, according to police and other sources."


Sadly, this is yet another example of a tragic event that stemmed from early life trauma.


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We all know that exercise can make us fitter and reduce our risk for illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. But just how, from start to finish, a run or a bike ride might translate into a healthier life has remained baffling.


Now new research reports that the answer may lie, in part, in our DNA. Exercise, a new study finds, changes the shape and functioning of our genes, an important stop on the way to improved health and fitness.

The human genome is astonishingly complex and dynamic, with genes constantly turning on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from the body. When genes are turned on, they express proteins that prompt physiological responses elsewhere in the body.


Scientists know that certain genes become active or quieter as a result of exercise. But they hadn’t understood how those genes know how to respond to exercise.


Enter epigenetics, a process by which the operation of genes is changed, but not the DNA itself. Epigenetic changes occur on the outside of the gene, mainly through a process called methylation. In methylation, clusters of atoms, called methyl groups, attach to the outside of a gene like microscopic mollusks and make the gene more or less able to receive and respond to biochemical signals from the body. 



To read the rest of this story by Gretchen Reynolds, go to:

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I love mnemonics!  They help me remember things and more importantly they are a tool which helps me communicate complex ideas to others. A new publication,  SAMHSA's Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma Informed Approach, includes two  useful ways that will be helpful to me in simplifying complex concepts when I talk about trauma  and trauma informed care. The first is the "The three E's of Trauma:  Events, Experiences and Effects."  The second is the "The four R's:  Key Assumptions in a Trauma Informed Approach - Realization, Recognize, Respond, Resist Re-traumatization. 




On December 17, 2014, over 20 people met from across the Washington, DC metro area to begin a dialogue on how to move towards creating trauma informed communities. The event was co-sponsored by the STAR Center, a national technical assistance center working for mental health systems transformation, and The Campbell Center, an education and advocacy group for individuals living with and seeking treatment from mental health and substance addiction challenges.


This gathering was initially the brainchild of Chacku Mathai of the STAR Center and Leah Harris of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. Both Mathai and Harris had been inspired by the growing trauma-informed community movement documented in the Community Resilience Cookbook and ACEs Connection. They were having lunch at an event together, and said, “let’s make this conversation happen.” They reached out to Iden Campbell McCollum, CEO of the Campbell Center, and a longtime trauma awareness advocate in the District of Columbia, who enthusiastically joined the partnership. 


Participants represented diverse backgrounds and communities in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia -- including trauma survivors, ACEs educators, child welfare, juvenile justice, domestic violence, parent educators, social workers, peer support workers, legal advocates, veterans, educators, and advocates for youth and adults who are homeless and justice involved.


Mathai opened up the discussion by noting the need to break down our silos. “We can’t solve the complex problems we face alone. It will take the creative contributions of many people across systems and organizations. Hopefully this is the beginning of an ongoing dialogue and action oriented network to build community resilience in the Washington, DC Metro Area.”


Harris gave a brief introduction to the ACE Study and shared about the initiatives happening in PhiladelphiaTarpon Springs, FL, and Walla Walla, WA, among other places, where people are putting what we know about trauma and resilience into practice on the community level. Said Harris, “As someone with an ACE score of 7, who has personally has experienced the devastating effects of trauma as well as the potential for healing, I feel a deep calling to do all I can to help reduce the prevalence of traumatic stress across the life spanand to promote individual and community resilience.”


McCollushared his moving personal story of building resiliency as a trauma survivor, which has included healing relationships, a regimen of holistic self-care, and spiritual practices. He also talked about the particular traumas faced by the transgender community and the traumatic impact of racism and gentrification in the DC Metro area. He announced a two-day Trauma Conference, to be held May 12-13, 2015, sponsored by the Campbell Center, which will include a track on community resilience. 


Following Harris’ and McCollum’s presentations, participants shared their ideas for where this initiative could go, including better education for parents on trauma and child development; educating landlords about the trauma histories of their tenants; and training for law enforcement on trauma and resilience.


There was strong enthusiasm for the conversation to continue. Next steps will include convening a steering committee and identifying/reaching out to other people and community groups that should be invited to participate. Stay tuned for further updates as this hopeful initiative develops. For more information, email leahharris2 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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While teaching a course on Child Sexual Abuse in Chennai, India I used the ACEs research. It was very well received. Several professionals in the audience not only found it relevant but could see its application in their own lives. It adds to further...
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Would like to chat with other Marriage and Family Therapists that are using ACES in their work.     Thanks,   Jeff
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