Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences: Building Self-Healing Communities
May 8, 2019 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET
Description: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that occur in a child’s life prior to the age of 18. This adversity can harm a child’s brain and its development, which can result in long-term negative health and social outcomes. ACEs include emotional, physical and sexual abuse; domestic violence; substance use and mental illness of someone in the household; being separated from parents, including incarceration and divorce; food insecurity; and homelessness.
During this webinar, Courtnie Smith and Lauren Szymonik will discuss the research background and meaning of Adverse Childhood Experiences, the impact that ACEs have on physical and social-emotional development, as well as opportunities for building resilience.
Bios: Courtnie Smith became a part of the University of South Carolina School Behavioral Health Team (SBHT) in October 2017 with a primary focus of coordinating the Pee Dee Resiliency Project (PDRP), a community-based initiative aimed at building resilience through prevention and early intervention efforts. In addition to her role on PDRP, Courtnie also assists in managing the SBHT. As an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Master Trainer and Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Trainer-Consultant, she looks forward to broadening her experiences to include improving public knowledge of the impacts of toxic stress and increasing the quality of life for underserved children and families.
Lauren Szymonik serves as a Strengthening Families Program coordinator for Children’s Trust of South Carolina. She provides training, coaching, and support while coordinating program development and sustainability for the organization’s partner sites in the Pee Dee region. She is an adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) master trainer, co-chair of the Pee Dee Resiliency Project Community Action Team, and an Empower Action Coalition facilitator. She is passionate about her work with families and communities, as she helps to bring resilience and well-being to the forefront of our culture.
Through the empowerment of communities, the South Carolina ACE Initiative helps children and families overcome the effects of traumatic experiences, prevent poor health outcomes and promote well-being later in life. Children’s Trust is training to increase awareness of ACEs and their impact, collecting and disseminating data, building a prevention planning framework, and promoting sound legislative policy to address ACEs in our communities.
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