Here are elevator pitches, from several sources:
From our friends at Fenton Communications:
As you probably know, if bad things happen to you to as a child, it can impact your health for the rest of your life.
Research shows that kids who experience physical abuse or live with an alcoholic parent are more likely to have cancer as an adult. They are more likely to attempt suicide. And they are more likely to drop out of school or end up in prison.
The good news is that there are doctors, teachers, social workers, judges, parents and others who are using this research (known as the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study) to create new tools to protect kids and families early, and give anyone who suffers the chance to heal.
At ACEs Connection, our job is to find communities that are using these tools. We tell their stories and connect them to each other. This knowledge can help millions of people, but only if we all work together.
Research shows that kids who experience physical abuse or live with an alcoholic parent are more likely to have cancer as an adult. More likely to attempt suicide. And more likely to drop out of school.
At ACEs Connection, we help communities use this knowledge to protect kids early and give anyone who suffers the chance to heal. We also tell their stories so that others will be inspired to make a difference in their own communities.
ACEs Connection Network community manager Alicia St. Andrews noodled with the pitches above to come up with these:
Have you heard of Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs)? It’s when children are abused, neglected, or live with someone who’s an alcoholic, drug user, has a mental illness, or who’s been in prison.
The more ACEs a child experiences, the more likely they are to get cancer as an adult, to attempt suicide, to get expelled from school, or to end up in prison. People who experience 6 or more ACEs die an average of 20 years earlier than those who don’t.
Now we know that time does not heal all wounds. So what are we doing? ACEs Connection works with communities- doctors, teachers, social workers, judges, parents- to protect children and heal adults. We do this through information sharing, social media, and community organizing.
Have you heard of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)? It’s when children are abused, neglected, or live with someone who’s an alcoholic, drug user, has a mental illness, or who’s been in prison.
People who experience 6 or more ACEs die an average of 20 years earlier than those who don’t.
What are we doing about it? ACEs Connection works with communities- doctors, teachers, social workers, judges, parents- to protect children and heal adults. We do this through information sharing, social media, and community organizing.
Brenda Yuen says she would add this info:
But I would DEFINITELY want to tie "what goes on in your mind can also affect your body and your future" -- some quick, soundbite that can be picked up as the main theme...so if perchance a media rep is around when we're out in our communities advocating, this can be the headline message.
And she points out that you can replace ACEs Connection with the name of your group.
Pediatrician Tina Hahn came up with this version for pediatricians:
I am a pediatrician and I screen children for lead exposure, a neurotoxin that damages brain development leading to lowered IQ and sometimes to frank mental retardation and if high enough death. You’ve likely heard of lead screening. I also immunize children for vaccine preventable illnesses such as measles and meningitis because these diseases can severely disable children and sometimes even kill them. I have seen the ravaged bodies of children who have recovered from meningitis but who no longer have limbs. In fact my aunt had polio and would always tell me how she wished she could have traded her cain and eventually her wheelchair for the prevention of a vaccine.
As a pediatrician who’s work is for the health of children, I thoroughly believe in prevention with both screening and immunization. But, did you know that there is something more insidious and common in the environments that many children are exposed to here in the United States that causes the same brain damage, long-term disability and potential death?
That something is called toxic stress also known as adverse childhood experiences. So what is this? Toxic stress is anything in the developing child’s environment that is scary and potentially life threatening; scary parents, scary schools, frightening communities, poverty, lack of food, and all the different types of abuse from ridicule and humiliation by parents or peers to overt physical or sexual violence against children. Exposure to these factors in children’ lives cause the same structural damage to a child’s developing brain as does the poisoning from lead or the physical destruction from a deadly virus. The results are essentially the same.
But, there is something you can do. Learn about adverse childhood experiences. Google the study “Turning Gold into Lead”. Read it. That would be a great start. Consider checking out the web site AcesTooHigh.com. There you can find lots of pertinent information not only about toxic stress but about what many communities are doing about it. Then join our coalition in Alpena to transform toxic communities into ones fostering resilience for children. Ask me any questions you need. I am always available.
Sherry Reynolds wrote this 30-second pitch that focuses on the resilience message:
Research shows that kids who grow up in a healthy home and neighborhood are less likely to have a chronic illness and more likely to finish school and be emotionally healthy.
At ACEs Connection, we help communities use this knowledge to ensure that all kids have healthy place to grow up and spread best practices and share stories of success so that those who are traumatized can heal and others can be inspired.
Mary Sharrow, community partner at Peace4Tarpon in Tarpon Springs, FL, developed this 30-second pitch:
Children who grow up feeling safe and nurtured have a resiliency and success for life’s journey. Sadly, that is not every childhood. The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Study tells us that a childhood of adverse experiences - alcohol or drug dependent parents, parent incarceration, physical and mental abuse, witnessing domestic violence, neglect … has a greater risk of severe health challenges, early dropout, addiction, mental illness, incarceration, homelessness and even early death. Through identifying ACEs and acknowledging their impact, communities can offer children and families opportunities to heal.
Ellen Smith submitted this ACEs and trauma-informed care pitch:
Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACES, such as abuse, observing abuse, incarceration and mental illness, causes permanent changes in the brain of children. These brain changes result in impulsiveness, poor judgement, a chronic fight or flight response, to name a few. People with a history of multiple adverse childhood experiences or ACEs die 20 years earlier and have higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, suicide, incarceration and substance abuse.
What can we do—TRAUMA INFORMED CARE! Health Care providers have been hesitant to ask about a trauma history, because they feel it will open a big can of worms. It has been shown that it rarely opens a can of worms, but that “naming” the issue of trauma allows some to move beyond the shame and secrecy of prior trauma, and find that they are still valued by and cared for by their provider.
We need to ask “What happened” not “What is wrong with you?” We can decrease further trauma by helping traumatized patients as they have difficult procedures such as women’s exams and colonoscopies.
Trauma-informed care needs to be and is being implemented across many aspects of our society. Many police departments, schools and prisons are looking into trauma informed care.
Karen Clemmer, Senior Public Health Nurse, Maternal Child Adolescent Health and one of the group managers for Sonoma County ACEs Connection, wrote this:
“Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) is another way of describing toxic stress experienced before adulthood. ACEs are serious childhood traumas that result in toxic stress that can harm a child's brain. This toxic stress may prevent child from learning, from playing in a healthy way with other children, and can result in long-term health problems. They are powerful predictors of adult social functioning, well-being, health risks, disease, and premature death. In fact, ACES determine the likelihood of the ten most common causes of death in the United States.
But is that the end of the story? No! Stress can be buffered by caring and supportive adult relationships. Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are among the most powerful, protective, and healing forces in a child’s life. These relationships can be fostered at home, school and in the community and they are the building blocks of a child’s physical and emotional growth.
Maternal Child Adolescent Health (MCAH) emphasizes upstream efforts to prevent and reduce ACES. Our goal is to ensure optimal health outcomes for our most vulnerable populations.”