Philadelphia has a huge network. Understand the difference between TIC and ACEs awareness. TIC is the nice way of thinking. "I know something happened to you". ACEs is about "What happened".  The TIC community is so worried of triggers. ACEs is drilling down to awareness of why has my life been this way. It took me a year of being on fire with the TIC community and my practice of "ACEs in your face" before I realized this. As a volunteer EMT I have been offering the ACE survey to some of my patients and the general public. Approximately 200+ over the past 2 years. Only two handed it back or dismissed it. Of recent, I was talking with 2 adult males at a family birthday party. One dismissed the statistic of 17% male and 20% female at the party had been sexually abuse as a child. "Not a family gathering" he professed. The second man spoke up to tell his story as a 14 year old, an uncle exposed himself to him and had him touch his privates. He washed his narrative down with a beer. 

I use a hand out of ACEs and Resilience surveys, Neurology of ACE and Resilience from the resource sight and a list of 20+ negative thoughts that get stuck in our own narrative. "I'm not good enough, I not worthy...." 

Remember this "If you're not pushing the edge of the envelope, you're not doing enough for your patient."

Thank you ALL for these wonderful resources! I will be reaching out to those who provided contact information and compiling links to your campaign pages and mentioned websites.

Thank you Peter for your powerful example and for persevering in your efforts to raise awareness. What a brave man who felt able to begin sharing his experience of childhood abuse. I hope he receives the support he needs to continue or begin in his healing. And so telling that only 2 out of 200+ ever declined to take the ACE survey-how we long to be asked, seen, heard, validated as part of our healing.

Corinna I agree that we must be prepared to respond with action as part of raising awareness. Yes!! And I'm happy to say that my committee feels strongly committed to this as part of our planning.

I use the Resilience Cards in my work currently. All of my team members have a deck. They are so universally helpful.

Thank you all again.


I am the ED at ChildWise Institute in Helena, Montana. I've been on the ACEs bandwagon since late 2008. ChildWise was established in 2011 and began work in 2012. Our mission is board, which is to advance awareness, accelerate knowledge, and advocate for positive change to optimize society's resources for the well-being of children.

In late 2012 we decided that the ACE Study is the foundation and direct connection to almost every child well-being issue, and something every person in our state needs to embrace. But how? When I think back on every major social change that has happened in America, I see a movement of the people that created that change... not an organization or an individual. Yes, it was started/initiated by an organization or individual, but they didn't create the movement... it was created by the passionate public.

So, we introduced Elevate Montana at our 1st ACE Study Summit in September of 2012. Its mission is to "Elevate the well-being and futures of Montana's children." We created its own website, logo, corporate identity, etc. because we believe this cause doesn't belong to our organization, it belongs to everyone. We were hopeful that in doing this (not making it about ChildWise) it might grow into a movement. And it is well on its way!

We have an annual Elevate Montana Summit 2016 in the fall, and thus far they have been focused on advancing awareness and accelerating knowledge of the ACE Study, trauma-sensitive approaches, and building resilience. They are very well attended for Montana (about 400 people)... keeping in mind that the entire population of our state is a little less that 1 million people!

Because we are focused on moving the discussion and action in regards to ACEs and resilience; and because we know that everyone needs to be part of the solution, we were faced with the challenge of doing this with everyone inMontana. But how does a tiny non-profit with only four staff members do that?

Based on research, we know the most effective way for someone to learn is if they seek knowledge or understanding. So we figured the best way to stimulate that "desire to seek" is to create curiosity. That's when we created a billboard (see attached) and placed them in the area of our 2014 Elevate Montana Summit for 30 days prior to the Summit. It resulted in more than 400 people going to a website we created, getting their own ACE score, and learning about ACEs and resilience (they take the Resilience Survey, as well). By the way, we strongly suggest that no one be handed the 10-question ACE Survey without context of the Study. We believe without context, it can trigger something in people and can be dangerous. That can happen even with context, but our experience in training almost 7,000 people in the last year and a half is that almost everyone has a better understanding of themselves and others, and is motivated by what they've learned.

Since those 30 days of the billboards (11 of them) being up, we created cards that duplicate the billboard on one side and have stats about the well-being of Montana's children on the other. We hand these out everywhere we go, and at all of our ACE trainings and presentations. It serves as a learning tool, as well as a conversation-starter for them to use with their peers, friends, etc.... further advancing awareness!

All of this goes to your question about culture change. Ultimately that is what we're after... a change in thinking, which results in a change in behavior -- and when enough people do that (think: movement), there is a change in culture.

i could write a lot more, but I don't want to bore you. We are involved in this movement to elevate the well-being and futures of our children and now have about 8 communities in our state flying the flag of Elevate Montana. They have chosen (with a "backbone organization" in their city) to become official Elevate Montana Affiliates! This is why we know a movement has started and is spreading.

Thank you fo all you do!
Todd Garrison


Todd, you guys have done a great job with this!  We have just completed a proposal to a funder in the hopes of bringing our whole family recovery program - Celebrating Families! - to specific states in need.  In MT, one site is providing coverage now, and another just purchased curriculum and is in need of training.  In researching the status of your state to detail our explanation for the MT allotment,  I reviewed the site you have created.  It is well done, as appears to be your entire effort.  Given the changes in the past few years, it is obvious that you guys are making great process.  Wishing you the best of luck!

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