Zo Mpofu & Dakisha Wesley: Forging Alliances to Declare Racism a Public Health and Safety Crisis


Zo Mpofu and DK Wesley Forge Alliances to Declare Racism a Public Health and Safety Crisis

Zo Mpofu believes protecting the health of mothers and babies in childbirth is a moral responsibility. That is why it alarmed Mpofu, a human services program consultant for Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina, that local black women are 3.8 times more likely to lose their baby in the first year of life than white women. Also, Dakisha “DK” Wesley, assistant county manager in Buncombe County, worried that black people accounted for 25% of the jailed population, despite being 6.3% of the local population. Mpofu and Wesley believe these are the results of structural racism. That is why these government employees collaborated with cross-sector partners to urge Buncombe County leaders to pass three resolutions declaring racism a public ...

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How Art Therapy Can Help Children Heal from Trauma


How Art Therapy Can Help Children Heal from Trauma

A new method is emerging to help children heal from trauma – art therapy. More mental health clinics, like the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, are beginning to use art to help children with the healing process. Mental health professionals hope that art therapy can help children process adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which is growing to be a public health crisis. “Art therapy helps one process emotions and feelings that one is struggling with, so that he or she can begin healing,” said art therapist Savita Jakhar Gandash, according to The Interview Portal. Read about what art therapy is and how Latino children can heal from ACEs and trauma. What is Art Therapy? Art therapy is a mental health service that utilizes creativity to help people resolve ...

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Healthy People 2030 Adds 4 Objectives on Childhood Trauma, Up From 0


Healthy People 2030

For the first time, the Healthy People 2030 guidelines have added four objectives on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), a step to recognize the systemic impact of childhood trauma on health. ACEs, such as abuse and poverty, are a public health crisis. None of the past Healthy People editions ─ 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020 ─ had an objective to address ACEs as part of its national guidance to promote health and prevent disease. Now there are four objectives! This is a huge win for the 2,214 Salud America! network members who emailed public comments and other child development and public health professionals who submitted nearly 3,000 additional comments to add ACEs-related objectives. “I was surprised to learn ‘adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)’ and ‘childhood ...

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5 Upstream Ways You Can Take Action to Address Toxic Stress



Toxic stress is endangering the current and future health of our society. Amid the mental, physical, and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is even greater need to prevent the risk factors for toxic stress, which are severe, intense, or prolonged stress, trauma, or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) like physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The new Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health is the nation’s first guide to address toxic stress by cutting ACEs in half in a generation. We at Salud America! are exploring the roadmap in an 11-part series. This is the final post in the series, with five upstream ways you can take action to address toxic stress. “To enable ...

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California’s Epic Response to Toxic Stress and ACEs


California’s Epic Response to Toxic Stress and ACEs

California is leading the nation in addressing toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as neglect, divorce and exposure to violence, which can harm long-term health. Guided by evidence and a public health approach, California developed a series of legal and conceptual frameworks to support statewide screening for ACEs, coordinate within and outside state government, and assess best practices in trauma-informed care across the state. This progress ramped up when Gov. Gavin Newsom created the Office of the California Surgeon General  in 2019 and appointed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris to the position. In December 2020, Burke Harris released her Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and ...

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Toxic Stress in Education and How to Prevent it


Toxic Stress in Education and How to Prevent it

Trouble concentrating in class. Not completing homework. Behavioral difficulties. Absenteeism. These outcomes are linked to exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). ACEs, such as abuse or parental substance abuse, can trigger the biological toxic stress response and hinder school learning, behavior, attendance, and academics. That’s why, in December 2020, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris released her Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health. Salud America! is exploring the report as part of its 11-part series on toxic stress. Below are primary prevention, early detection, and early intervention strategies for education personnel to address ACEs and toxic stress among Latino and ...

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Toxic Stress in the Justice System and How to Prevent It


Toxic Stress in the Justice System and How to Prevent It EJ USA

Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as poverty or abuse, is a known risk factor involvement in the justice system. And, involvement in the justice system may be an indicator of toxic stress. Thus, the justice system plays an important role in preventing the effects of ACEs and toxic stress. That’s why, in December 2020, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris released her Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health. Salud America! is exploring the report as part of its 11-part series on toxic stress. “Factors that underlie connections between victimization or trauma and later criminal justice involvement provide a window into areas for primary and secondary intervention ...

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Toxic Stress in Early Childhood and How to Prevent It



Since the turn of the century, research has highlighted the importance of early life experiences on long-term health and social outcomes. While childhood exposure to severe or prolonged toxic stress can negatively impact the brain, body, and behavior, early interventions can increase the odds of positive health and social outcomes. That’s why, in December 2020, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris released her Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health. Salud America! is exploring the report as part of its 11-part series on toxic stress. “The pervasive, high prevalence of [adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)] and the enormous costs of health, economic, criminal justice, and other downstream effects ...

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How to Use Social Service Strategies to Address Toxic Stress


How to Use Social Service Strategies to Address Toxic Stress

The child welfare system plays a critical role in identifying, investigating, and intervening to protect children facing abuse and neglect. However, the child welfare system traditionally isn’t as focused on preventing abuse and neglect. Because abuse and neglect are among the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) associated with toxic stress and some of the most common and serious health and social conditions, the social services sector is needed to help prevent these experiences before they occur. That’s why, in December 2020, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris released her Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health. She, along with numerous health and child welfare professionals, wants to engage a ...

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