Notes are in chronological order
Suggestions/comments from the 4/18 Yonkers Riverfront screening
- Who else needs to hear this/be involved: school engagement / school districts / PTAs; criminal justice engagement (at all levels)
- There was an acknowledgment of the challenge of priorities in funding and attention for things we know can work like peer support and case management
- One person spoke passionately about ACEs being a reflection of the violence in our society, the sense that aggression is to be rewarded. This opened the space for discussing what programming exists that emphasize qualities of resilience.
- There was an awareness that this is in sync with the organized efforts that have taken place under the heading of “undoing racism” – both in terms of messaging (it affects us all; it is a part of our culture that needs examination) and mobilization (lots of conversations need to take place at many levels).
- Overall, there was a curiosity about how this could really be advanced as a multi-level “movement” in Westchester County as was demonstrated in locations cited in the documentary.
Suggestions/comments from the 4/26 New Rochelle screening
Who else needs to hear this/be involved: school counselors, houses of worship
Topics that arose:
A question about how ACES break out by race and gender. Andy offered information regarding race, i.e., that among some groups, e.g., communities of color, some ACEs did not have the same impact, possibly because that group had evolved – as a community – ways to address the related stress. (Andy, can you share the support for that with this Coalition? Or do you ant the librarian to look it up <g>)
One participant noted that she found the ACES powerful because “naming the scary things helps us feel safer.
One participant noted that she liked the simplicity of this, stating that “we know this” – prevention, screening, healing, make a difference.
A parent viewed the screening in the context of the loss of his mother and his challenge explaining it to his young children; he was actually asking for tools to now how to make the experience less traumatic.
A suggestion for action was made that we “demand that all public services be ACES informed.”
Suggestions/comments from the 5/8 discussion at Ossining Public Library
Who else needs to be involved?
- Schools, PTAs, legislators, all social work schools, colleges, – all sectors of the community
- Share with everyone! Need to have the same public heath approach that was so successful with anti- smoking campaign
Comments from the group:
- Would like to hear more emphasis on taking care of self in the work that we do.
- Need for workshops on trauma. Limited knowledge in knowing what can do in response. Limited in ability to respond to need. Hands tied.
- School counselor reported that MH agencies overwhelmed. Wait list to access services. Need for additional funding.
- Liked that there is no judgment. Secrecy keeps the issue active.
- We can’t stop bad things from happening – but need to be there to hear and to listen. Need to talk about this issue.
- Only takes one caring adult – to foster resilience. “Take away the fix and just be there”.
- Safety and connectedness – crucial.
- Critical to get stories/life experiences from parents and other family members.
- Healthy Steps program at Open Door in Ossining – ACES scores on every mother participating in the initiative – will know the score when the infant is born.
Suggestions/comments from the 5/9 discussion at Ossining Public Library
Who else should see this?
- This should be shown to court staff to build awareness of underlying factors.
- “I want to send a letter about this to everyone I know.”
- Faith community.
- Schools – “teachers and administrators need to be informed.”
- Recreation centers.
Comments from the group:
- On person asked how we can remove the stress? “Need to look at poverty and marginalization”.
- A “peer supporter” noted that she accidentally found out about this event and attended. “I don’t want this to just be a video…[it is a training that] should be implemented by the police and others.”
- Reference was made to a Solutions Not Suspensions initiative, which is strongly related to this work, i.e., acting up is not solved by suspension because you are treating symptom not cause. “Have to refocus code of conduct in school to focus in positive behaviors”
- Recommendation was made that libraries start a conversation on the multiple aspects of wellness.
Suggestions/comments from the 5/10 discussion at Mount Vernon Public Library
- Who else needs to hear this/be involved?
- “Get every agency to see this.”
- This should inform healthcare services starting with prenatal care.
- Every public servant.
- Crisis intervention teams
- There was a strong acknowledgement of the impact of trauma in the community. One mother noted: “Children growing up in the child welfare system have trauma before and then get more from the system. [This makes it clear] that we are looking at symptoms that mask an underlying problem.”
- In discussing how to make more people aware of this, low-literacy levels were noted as a challenge. Communicating about ACES will require taking the information to people via dialogs like this one. Another participant noted that “the community has to speak in a cohesive way to demand this [inform services]”.
Suggestions/comments from the 5/23 discussion at Dobbs Ferry Public Library
- “Why did a doctor, ob gyn, a pediatrician, never ask me about this?”
- “This affects all of us; no one has a perfect childhood.”
- “We need to look at how other countries handle this; happier ones, like Denmark.”
- “This needs to be discussed at AA meetings.”
- People needed in the room:
- Every one in law enforcement
Notes from the Fall events will be posted at the end of November. Come back to this space!