February Updates on Increasing Children Resilience through Addressing ACEs
This month, we are thrilled to present a number of wonderful resources and news centered on trauma-informed care and PACEs education. First, a look at how media can surprisingly create spaces to educate and support our communities. With much of the conversation about social media being its more negative features, we are relieved to present news about social media helping to connect those struggling with grief. To learn more about the use of #GriefTok, take a moment to read this article. We also want to share two amazing documentaries that give a firsthand look at the impact of childhood trauma on brain development and behavioral manifestations. PBS series “Broken Places” explores individual differences in youth responses to trauma, including the developmental effect trauma has on the brain. On the other hand, the impactful Paper Tigers film shows a school’s attempt to break the cycle of poverty, violence, and behavioral concerns educators might see in class. After observing the positive impact media can have, we hope to see a continued trend of entertainment supporting emotional and behavioral health education and awareness.
There’s so much that we can do as adults to further our understanding and perspective on development and ACEs. We’re proud to present this Digital Mental Health Toolkit, launched by our Regional Coalition Grantee Cobb, filled with information about trauma-informed care and resilience. A new report out of Massachusetts offers best practices for trauma-informed education, while this evidence-based set of resources from the Child Mind Institute offers individualized sets of videos and written information around mental health and coping skills for students, educators, and parents alike. The Black Child Development Institute is home to a wealth of trauma-informed resources and training, including their Strength Within program, which administers education and skills training for professionals working with low-income children ages 0-5. Afterschool caretakers can greatly benefit from checking out this inclusive mental health toolkit from The Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network (GSAN). While mental health resources are incredibly valuable, the work doesn’t stop there. We are encouraged by this research study that explored the impact of physical activity on its ability to buffer specific types of ACE exposure, and found that the effects of many different types of trauma can be mitigated through greater levels of bodily movement and exercise. This means that even just encouraging an active lifestyle for children can make a huge difference when it comes to regulating emotional encounters and promoting resilience in development. We hope that these resources are useful and effective tools for uplifting caregivers, educators, advocates, and the children they support.