February 2016

Experiencing the world through an ACEs-informed lens requires patience

A few years ago, I would have looked at this headline — Los Angeles County Jail moms can provide breast milk for their kids in lactation pilot program — and thought: “Awww. How nice of the jail staff to implement this program.” Now, after years of being steeped in research about childhood adversity and how babies need that vital attachment to their moms to have a healthy start to life, my immediate reaction is: “What the hell are they thinking?” The story explains how a woman gave birth to a...

Where are the Men?

Alaska conducted a Victimization Survey for 2015 and released what it characterized as positive improvements. With a sample of 3,027 women, the results claimed a substantial reduction in intimate partner violence (IPV) from 2010 to 2015. The claim is that IPV dropped by 33% and sexual violence dropped by 32%. This is a typical representation about the rate of drop. If you look at the percentages, IPV went from 9.4% to 6.4%. Sexual violence went from 4.3% to 2.9%. I have two issues with the...

Paid Family Leave Tied to Decline in Child Abuse [Consumer.Healthday.com]

Paid family leave might lead to reduced risk of abuse-related head injuries in young children, according to a new study. Researchers compared data from 1995 through 2011 in California -- which introduced paid family leave in 2004 -- with seven states without such a policy: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts and Wisconsin. After California introduced paid family leave, there was a decline in rates of hospital admissions for abuse-related head injuries in children...

Choosing the Positive Narrative for Black Children in America [JJIE.org]

An African-American, 12-year-old boy is arrested and taken into custody for carrying a weapon in Washington, D.C., while waiting for the bus. The weapon, an empty glass beer bottle, would allegedly have been used to hurt city residents, but police are able to search his bag and find the weapon before a crime is committed. Had the offender been just a few years older, he would be eligible to be tried in adult court. Yeah, it's a scenario. Actually, as Bryan Stevenson , executive director of...

#OscarsSoWhite, #ForSoLong [NPR.org]

You may have read something like this over the past few weeks, in the run-up to this year's hotly contested Academy Awards ceremony: "The fact that there is an absence of African-American nominees at the awards this year is something I'm less concerned about than how that reflects on what's happening within the industry," [the film producer Preston Holmes told a reporter]. "We need more opportunities for African-American filmmakers and crafts people. There needs to be more of an...

Responding to Staff Resistance to Trauma-Informed Care

This month at Partner for Healing we have focused on responding to common staff concerns about implementing trauma-informed care. I’m sure you have heard all of these! On Partner you can get some ideas about how to respond. We would also be interested in other concerns you hear, and also other responses you have found effective. Please put these in the comment section. You can also download a PDF summary of all of these. The concerns we cover are: If we stop giving severe consequences, chaos...

U.S. Senate begins debate on bipartisan addiction and recovery legislation

Starting today, the U.S. Senate takes up the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA, S. 524) to address the national crisis of opioid drug addiction. The legislation—authored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rob Portman (R-OH)—gives states tools to “prevent drug abuse, treat addiction, and reduce overdose deaths.” The prevention section of the bill calls for a “federal inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and...

Sonoma County: Ready to Ripple Out Further

Karen Clemmer’s “aha” about ACEs came at a lunch meeting with a colleague who worked in early childhood intervention and Jane Stevens, creator of social networking sites ACEsConnection and ACEsTooHigh. Clemmer, Coordinator of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health for Sonoma County’s Department of Health Services, had heard of Vincent Felitti’s work and found it interesting. But that day’s lunch conversation persuaded her to share the research on ACEs and resilience with everyone she knew.

What Is the Emotional Culture of Your Organization? – Part II [DrRobertBrooks.com]

In last month’s column I focused on the significance of the emotional culture that exists in an organization, especially citing the article “Manage Your Emotional Culture” that appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of the Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2016/01/manage-your-emotional-culture . The article was co-authored by Drs. Sigal Barsade, professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Olivia O’Neill, assistant professor at George Mason...

How the Church Helps Black Men Flourish in America [TheAtlantic.com]

From Barack Obama to Rand Paul, Ta-Nehisi Coates to Jason Riley: Across the ideological spectrum, scholars, pundits, and politicians seem to agree that black men are floundering. As the president observed in 2014, “by almost every measure, the group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century in this country are boys and young men of color.” In some ways, Obama is right. Rates of poverty, unemployment, and incarceration are higher among black men than among white...

The Moral Cost of the Kill Box [TheAtlantic.com]

In laymen’s terms, “kill boxes” sound like torture devices. In military jargon, they are almost incomprehensible; as defined in the Department of Defense Dictionary , they are “a three-dimensional area reference that enables timely, effective coordination and control and facilitates rapid attacks.” But despite their ominous name and complicated technical definition, kill boxes are actually relatively simple in concept: They are three-dimensional cubes of space on a battlefield in which...

Children of drug abusers more at risk to become addicts, too [DailyUnion.com]

Similar to the cycle of abuse, in which the abused often become abusers, individuals who grow up witnessing substance abuse are at a higher risk of imitating that dangerous behavior. In Jefferson County, children living in, or removed from, homes that have a substance abuse problem primarily are dealt with by the Jefferson County Human Services De­part­ment. All too often, the drug of choice is heroin or another type of opioid. “Unfortunately, almost all of our kids are impacted by heroin or...

The New Science of Thriving [Magazine.JHSPH.edu]

I n the early 1970s, my grandmother had a disagreement with the Beatles. When she heard “All You Need is Love” play on the radio, she would reply, “All you need is inside of you.” When I was a PhD student in the early 1990s, these messages bounced around in my mind along with my epidemiology and econometrics lessons. It was then that I began amassing evidence that led me to two conclusions: First, public health, medicine and public policy needed to address long-neglected social and emotional...

Revitalizing Newark in a Healthy Way [RWJF.org]

“Jobs in Newark, New Jersey are as rare as dinosaurs,” says Barbara LaCue. She should know—the 51-year-old Newark resident was unemployed for more than five years after being laid off in 2008 from a steady factory job. She ended up living in a homeless shelter with her two sons. Then, last October that dinosaur showed up. It took the form of a 67,000 square foot ShopRite , the first full service supermarket to serve the 25,000 people in the city’s struggling University Heights neighborhood.

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