February 2018

"Don't Try This Alone" on Amazon

Don't Try This Alone: The Silent Epidemic of Attachment Disorder" on Amazon 2-28-18; Kindle out soon... http://www.amazon.com/dp/1976120128 Thank you to my ACEsConnection community for all your support for the last five years during the daunting experience of documenting this story... Kathy was an overachiever—an economist, technical writer, and classical singer married 27 years to her college sweetheart. It looked like Kathy was fine. But deep within her hid a pain from infancy so severe...

California Supremes Say 50+ Years In Prison For Juvenile Non-Murder Crimes Is Unconstitutional [witnessla.com]

In a 4-3 decision Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that juvenile sentences of 50 years or more for non-homicide crimes are unconstitutional in that they don’t give minors who are “ constitutionally different from adults for purposes of sentencing ” a reasonable chance for release during their lifetimes. The defendants in the case, Leonel Contreras and William Rodriguez , were convicted of kidnapping and raping two teenage girls at knifepoint in 2011. Contreras and Rodriguez, both...

Do Some Trauma Survivors Cope by Overworking? Hypervigilance and an inability to relax without guilt may lead some people to blunt their emotions through work. (TheAtlantic.com)

The link between traumatic experiences and the development of addiction has been well-documented . Edward Khantzian, who originated the self-medication hypothesis of substance abuse, writes that “human emotional suffering and pain” and an “inability to tolerate [one’s] feelings” are at the root of addiction. People may use alcohol, drugs, or gambling to numb or control distress, low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression. But there is virtually no empirical research on the potential link...

Know an Organization that Deserves to be Honored?

16th Annual Minnesota Pinwheels for Prevention Awards April is Child Abuse Prevention Month! Each year, we spotlight tribes and communities statewide that have consistently worked to create safe and healthy environments for children. The Pinwheels for Prevention Award recognizes their commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect through collaborative efforts. Work at the community level is crucial for ensuring that Minnesota families and children are able to thrive. Please submit...

Living in a World Full of Trigger Happy People

Living in a World Full of Trigger-Happy People If I type “define trigger happy” in my Google search bar, I read “ ready to react violently, especially by shooting, on the slightest provocation ”. The spectrum or continuum of provocation could range from mild feelings of anxiety to full blown violence as we have witnessed with the most recent school shooting. The young man responsible for what happened in Parkland, FL, did not wake up one morning and decide to go shoot up his classmates at...

In New York, State and City Diverge on Family First Act [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

One of the most difficult jobs in government is deciding whether or not to take children from parents who have been accused of child abuse, and place them in foster care. Counties and states are responsible for making these profound decisions, and with federal assistance, paying for the related costs. With its passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act this month, Congress rewrote the rules for how states can spend nearly $8 billion in federal spending on these costs, hoping to...

How Chicago Ticket Debt Sends Black Motorists Into Bankruptcy [features.propublica.org]

By last summer, Laqueanda Reneau felt like she had finally gotten her life on track. A single mother who had gotten pregnant in high school, she supported her family with a series of jobs at coffee shops, restaurants and clothing stores until she landed a position she loved as a community organizer on Chicago’s West Side. At the same time, she was working her way toward a degree in public health at DePaul University. But one large barrier stood in her way: $6,700 in unpaid tickets, late...

On Drug Pricing, States Step In Where Washington Fails [nytimes.com]

President Trump continues to vent about high drug prices, most recently in his State of the Union speech. Democrats like Senators Bernie Sanders and Claire McCaskill keep proposing legislation to curb rising medicine costs. But these pronouncements may not be worrying drug companies too much. They can see that for all of his bluster, the president has not embraced any significant reforms, and that Democrats don’t get much support on anything from the Republicans who control Congress. Brian...

The Seductive Confinement of a Weighted Blanket in an Anxious Time [newyorker.com]

Late one night last October, I was practicing what I like to call anti-self-care—lying under the covers, scrolling compulsively on my phone, and vaguely hoping that someone would leap through the screen and club me on the forehead—when I came across the Gravity Blanket Kickstarter , which had launched the previous April. Gravity was the brainchild of a handful of guys mostly in their twenties who sought to create sleek, plush weighted blankets, in three gradations of heaviness: fifteen,...

Limits on Federal Gun Research Spur States to Step In [pewtrusts.org]

As deaths from mass shootings have mounted across the United States, some states are moving to collect hard data to guide their decisions about guns — even as the federal government has retreated from such research in the face of pressure from pro-gun groups. The New Jersey Legislature, for example, is weighing a measure that would create a gun-violence research center at Rutgers University. The center would be modeled on the new Firearm Violence Prevention Research Center at the University...

After Thousands of Years, Western Science Is Slowly Catching Up to Indigenous Knowledge [yesmagazine.org]

Our knowledge of what the denizens of the animal kingdom are up to, especially when humans aren’t around, has steadily increased over the last 50 years. For example, we know now that animals use tools in their daily lives. Chimps use twigs to fish for termites; sea otters break open shellfish on rocks they selected; octopi carry coconut shell halves to later use as shelters. The latest discovery has taken this assessment to new heights, literally. A team of researchers led by Mark Bonta and...

What Kids' Trauma Looks Like Across the U.S. [theatlantic.com]

After last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the young survivors underwent a routine that has become all too familiar. Teams of crisis counselors were dispatched , vigils and funerals were held, and local officials debated what to do about the physical aftermath of the massacre: inspecting the school’s buildings and deciding when (and if) the campus would re-open for classes. The psychological damage may be harder to assess. Among kids exposed to traumatic violence, short-term...

Why People Deny Childhood Trauma and Its Results (SelfArcheology.com)

Why do people think they had a good, normal childhood, or deny childhood trauma and its results altogether? I often hear people say things like: My childhood was normal. Yes, there were some good things and some bad things – but that's life. My mother got sad, distant, or angry when I didn't perform well or acted badly, and my father sometimes hit me with a belt – but it was for my own good. All of this helped me to become a better person – and I'm thankful for it. Yes, sometimes I feel...

State profiles of ACEs initiatives debut! Use them as a new community building tool to accelerate your progress

Profiles of statewide and major local ACEs initiatives in the 50 states and the District of Columbia are now available from ACEs Connection. You’ll learn about other states and maybe even a few things about your own. This series is just the start of curating highlights of the most significant initiatives across the country. The next iteration will provide even more details. How to use this series: The invaluable information many of you provided to our ACEs Connection team on what is...

Video from the 2017 Arkansas ACEs/Resilience Summit Online

The Arkansas Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience Workgroup hosted its first ACEs/Resilience Summit: Every Child Deserves a Champion on Oct. 13, 2017. With more than 100 in attendance, including Susan Hutchinson, First Lady of Arkansas, the workgroup started a larger conversation about ACEs, their impacts, and what communities and organizations are doing to prevent and treat ACEs and help children and families build resilience. Dr. Alan Mease , medical director for child and...

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