Prevent Child Abuse NC to screen “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope”
by Sharon Hirsch •
Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina is catalyzing conversations across the state by screening the documentary “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope” (2015, KPJR Films).
A showing of this one-hour film will be held Monday, November 20, 2017 at noon at the UNC School of Social Work in Chapel Hill. This event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a post-screening conversation with North Carolina House Representative Graig Meyer and April Harley, Director of our state’s Nurse-Family Partnership Program. This discussion will explore how to use this succinct but powerful explanation of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to help build resilience in children and in our communities.
The main call to action is for communities to build local Community Child Abuse Prevention Plans using the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework (social and emotional competence of children, parental knowledge of parenting and child development, social connections, parental resilience, and concrete supports for families).
Our goal is to move beyond talking about change at the level of the social worker, teacher, child, or family. We want to elevate the dialogue to how an inter-connected population or system can make a change. Together, we can shift the conversation about child maltreatment to focus on prevention and upstream solutions.
We know the more resilient a child is, the more likely they are to deal with negative situations in a healthy way that won’t have prolonged unfavorable outcomes. Resilience is not an innate characteristic, but a skill that can be taught, learned, and practiced. Everybody has the ability to become resilient when surrounded by the right environments and people.
We also know that toxic stress is a chronic activation of a physiological response to stressors when there is no buffering protection or support. The ACE study and related research have quantified the physiological effects of stress and suffering, but spiritual cultures have understood the relation between body and mind for eons, and clinicians have observed and documented it for decades.
Sharon Hirsch is President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.