Individuals and communities disproportionately affected by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) need to be central to any initiatives to strengthen policies and programs that can prevent, address, and reduce adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). How can we find strategies to communicate with adults facing adversity in ways that support their advocacy on behalf of their communities?
Serious and ongoing adversity during childhood can have serious effects on the developing brain and body, and can contribute to later negative outcomes in health and wellbeing. At the same time, experiences of early adversity do not automatically translate into negative outcomes. Yet, people often think that people who have experienced stress are irreparably damaged.
How can we talk about toxic stress in ways that avoids cueing the idea that chronic stress leaves mental and physical scars that cannot be erased?
One strategy is to couple talk about toxic stress with the concept of resilience to advance a sense that, with the right supports, individuals have the capacity to thrive in spite of adverse life experiences.
Explore these general guidelines and evidence-based best practices for communicating about development, stress, and resilience with disparately impacted individuals and communities.