Wellbeing (e.g. Youth, Community, Mental)
Sharing Session - 60 Minutes
The association between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)and physical and mental health have been well established. The public health implications of ACEs are reflected in the increasing mental health challenges faced by school-aged children in the current academic focused environments of public schools. Drug and alcohol misuse disorder, suicide, anxiety disorders, and generalized social disorders are all rapidly rising. In addition, increases in overweight children and obesity associated with a myriad of physical health conditions are also likely associated with ACEs. Currently, little time is dedicated to providing children with the foundations for building strong powers of resilience not only individually but as members of community. Improving the health of children, both physically and mentally, requires an increased attention to a focus on building resilient attributes of our youth.
Using the ACEs theory and the corresponding resilient attributes identified as protective measures as a framework, the Farmington Valley Health District through an initiative called Resilience Grows Here (RGH), created a school-based curriculum that fosters the resilient attributes students need through skill building and self-awareness. The “Year of Resilience” framework that is currently being taught in two public school systems in CT is showing great early success. By encouraging the investment of schools, RGH has created a model school practice that places public health centered programming into the classroom with exciting initial results.