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December 2019

ACEs Science Champions Series: Eulanda Thorne Applies ACEs Science Awareness at School and at Home

When school counselor Eulanda Thorne discovered the science of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in 2018, she felt as if she were on fire. “I felt that I had missed a vital part of my education. Anyone who is in college for social work or teaching, a class on ACEs and trauma should be a required course.” Without an understanding of ACEs, she says, “I would think the students who are sent to me are being defiant or rebellious.” Instead, she helps the children change their behaviors with...

Teaching People To Control Their Brainwaves Can Boost Their Attention, Too (MIT)

An original story for MIT, published December 6, 2019. Having trouble paying attention? MIT neuroscientists may have a solution for you: Turn down your alpha brain waves. In a new study, the researchers found that people can enhance their attention by controlling their own alpha brain waves based on neurofeedback they receive as they perform a particular task. The study found that when subjects learned to suppress alpha waves in one hemisphere of their parietal cortex, they were able to pay...

3 New Communities Join ACEs Connection: December, 2019

Please welcome these three new communities from South Carolina and Washington to ACEs Connection . More information about each one of them is below. Resilient Benton-Franklin (WA): Serving the Benton and Franklin area, we are strongly committed to serving as a network for community members across various sectors to collaborate in preventing and addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). We aim towards creating a resilient and trauma-aware community. Community Manager: @Carla Prock Risk...

New Therapies Help Patients With Dementia Cope with Depression [nytimes.com]

By Andrea Petersen, The New York Times, December 8, 2019 Anne Firmender, 74, was working with her psychologist to come up with a list of her positive attributes. “I cook for others,” said Ms. Firmender. “It’s giving,” encouraged the psychologist, Dimitris Kiosses. “Good kids,” continued Ms. Firmender, who has four grown children and four grandchildren. “And great mother,” added Dr. Kiosses. Ms. Firmender smiled. [ Please click here to read more .]

How Building a Community of Care can Improve Farmworkers' Health [pbs.org]

By Annika Abbott, Public Broadcasting Service, December 6, 2019 Farmworkers face major challenges when it comes to staying healthy. They often spend hours daily performing physical labor that taxes the body, while language barriers and lack of employer-paid health insurance complicate their access to care. But the Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center is working on a unique way to improve health care for these workers. Anikka Abbott has the story. Judy Woodruff: Finally: Farm...

'Warm' Hotlines Deliver Help Before Mental Health Crisis Heats Up [khn.org]

By Stephanie Stephens, Kaiser Health News, December 9, 2019 A lonely and anxious Rebecca Massie first called the Mental Health Association of San Francisco “warmline” during the 2015 winter holidays. “It was a wonderful call,” said Massie, now 38 and a mental health advocate. “I was laughing by the end, and I got in the holiday spirit.” Massie, a San Francisco resident, later used the line multiple times when she needed additional support, then began to volunteer there. [ Please click here...

Champion in Action: At UpReach, There are 'Miracles Every Day' [unionleader.com]

By Shawne K. Wickham, New Hampshire Union Leader, December 8, 2019 Veterans, individuals with physical or developmental disabilities, families who have experienced trauma, and youngsters with autism have all found healing and acceptance in the gentle, good horses of UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center. The center’s motto is: “Improving lives with the power of the horse.” “It’s more than just a pony ride,” says Karen Kersting, who left a successful career in banking 21 years ago to become...

Mental Health Disparities in the United States

Receiving appropriate mental health care is crucial to healing. However, an enormous number of American citizens cannot and do not receive the care they need because there simply are no providers in their region to turn to in times of crisis. In this piece, we shall examine the statistics and costs both monetary and personal of the lack of mental health professionals in rural America as compared to living in or near a major city.

Alcohol's Effects On The Liver

Alcohol is one of the most used substances in the country. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention , about 25% of adults 18 and older had at least one heavy drinking day in the past year. Unfortunately, this type of substance use can lead to a number of different problems for those who have problems with alcohol. One of the most affected areas of the body when it comes to alcohol is the liver. There were nearly 22,250 alcohol liver disease deaths in 2017. Alcohol...

A Just Society Doesn’t Criminalize Girls [Common Dreams & Boston Globe]

By Ayanna Pressley , Monique W. Morris Published on Saturday, December 07, 2019 by Boston Globe Photo Credit: First-grader Khatona Miller, right, investigates a circled location on a world globe with other classmates August 22, 2000 at Chicago's Stewart Elementary School. (Photo: Tim Boyle/Newsmakers) The policies and unfair practices that disproportionately push girls of color from institutions of learning stem from deeply entrenched biases that require bold, community-based solutions to...

Why Boris Johnson's Mass Prison-Building Plan is a Multi-Billion-Pound Mistake [scotsman.com]

By Harry Burns, The Scotsman, December 4, 2019 Reducing the number of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) would be a better way to make society happier, safer and wealthier than building prisons, writes Professor Harry Burns. According to one newspaper, Boris Johnson’s response to the dreadful stabbings in London last Friday was a vow to lock up terrorists and throw away the key. The families of both victims have spoken about how dedicated Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were to the idea of...

Widespread Trauma Affects Mental and Physical Health of Children into Adulthood and Across Generations [milwaukeeindependent.com]

By Shanta R. Dube, Milwaukee Independent, December 5, 2019 Adult survivors often feel ashamed about and stigmatized for their childhood adversity. This makes it difficult to recognize that these events occur. While it is easier to turn away than to face these issues, we can no longer afford to do so. Stress, mental illness and substance abuse – all health outcomes linked to childhood trauma – occur in the U.S. today at very high rates. In 1999, I joined the Centers for Disease Control and...

There Is a Right Way to Teach Reading, and Mississippi Knows It [nytimes.com]

By Emily Hanford, The New York Times, December , 2019 “Thank God for Mississippi.” That’s a phrase people would use when national education rankings came out because no matter how poorly your state performed, you could be sure things were worse in Mississippi. Not anymore. New results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a standardized test given every two years to measure fourth- and eighth-grade achievement in reading and math, show that Mississippi made more progress than...

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