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Stories about state ACEs/trauma/resilience initiatives

Mobilizing ACEs, Trauma and Resilience Networks to Support and Strengthen Pandemic Response Efforts

“What are your signs of stress?” asked the leaders of a recent mindfulness webinar hosted by the Philadelphia ACE Task Force (PATF), held during the week that U.S. cases of COVID-19 neared half a million and more than sixty Philadelphians had died of the disease. Participants spilled their responses into the chat box: “headache…teeth grinding…can’t think clearly…nervous stomach…ruminating thoughts…muscle pain…itchiness…bad dreams.” [ At left: #TakeCarePHL during COVID-19 #StayHome #StaySafe.

"It's All Connected": NJEA ACEs Task Force Reaches Beyond Educators

The March meeting of the New Jersey Education Association’s ACEs Task Force opened without an agenda. It was a virtual gathering with more than 50 people—educators, social workers, professionals in pediatrics, juvenile justice and child abuse prevention. The pandemic had landed emphatically close to home, with a governor’s order to close all schools on March 18, and participants were grappling with what that meant for their students, their families and themselves. So ACEs Task Force co-chair...

Standing on the shoulders of giants:  Trauma-Informed Pennsylvania builds on a foundation of early leadership and many community initiatives

Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania When Governor Tom Wolf’s office announced the release of “Trauma-Informed PA: A Plan to Make Pennsylvania a Trauma-Informed, Healing-Centered State” on July 27, it was a significant milestone in the state becoming trauma-informed but only one of many over the long and storied history of addressing childhood adversity in the state. In 2005, Dr. Sandra Bloom and her Philadelphia colleagues began their pioneering work on the Sanctuary model (see Sanctuary...

Local Affiliates Accelerate ACEs-and-Resilience Movement in Montana

In Toole County, Montana, deputy sheriffs call a school counselor, from their patrol cars, after responding to a traumatic incident—a domestic abuse call, an overdose, an arrest—that involves a child. “Handle with care,” they tell the counselor, and they give the child’s name. The counselor passes that information to teachers: a quiet heads-up that the student might be hungry or sleepy, tearful, angry or distracted by whatever happened at home. “My teachers love it,” says Mary Miller, chair...

From Awareness to Action, with Voices of Lived Experience: Wisconsin’s Collective Impact Initiative

Perhaps it wasn’t the optimum time to update the network’s vision and values statements: a virtual meeting held in the midst of a global pandemic. But a record number of people—51, compared to the typical 30—tuned in for the May 1 Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH) Collective Impact Council, and they gave the new values statement, which highlights inclusivity and collaboration, an enthusiastic thumbs-up. At the virtual table were members from key state departments—Children...

Alive and Well: Moving Missouri Toward Grass-Roots and System-Wide Change

On the eastern edge of Missouri, leaders of the Alive and Well network had generated a robust media campaign to help people understand the impact of trauma and toxic stress on health and well-being. There was a monthly column in an African-American newspaper, spots about toxic stress and resilience on urban radio stations and weekly public service features on the NBC affiliate, with physicians, clergy and teachers advocating ways to “be alive and well.” Two hundred and fifty miles to the...

What's Next? Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative Deepens Effort as Momentum Grows Across the State

It was more than a piece of parchment bearing the governor’s signature. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s resolution declaring May 15, 2019 as the state’s first Trauma-Informed Awareness Day marked a high-level recognition that, where state policy is concerned, trauma matters. The resolution and resulting proclamation Pritzker signed also calls for legislators to consider childhood brain development, early adversity and buffering relationships when making policy decisions; it urges all state...

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