Friday, July 12, 2024

Project Self-Sufficiency Programs Educate Public, Support Trauma Survivors, Promote Prevention

Virtual Presentations Offered in English and Spanish

NEWTON, N.J. – Project Self-Sufficiency will offer three workshops during July regarding adverse childhood experiences with the goal of educating the public, supporting trauma survivors and offering tips for prevention and healing within the community. 

The workshop and discussion series, “Connections Matter,” which facilitates the conversation about issues surrounding childhood trauma, will be offered virtually over Zoom in English, Tuesday, July 16, 2 p.m., and in Spanish, Wednesday, July 17t, 2 p.m. A virtual “Understanding ACEs: Building Self-Healing Communities” presentation on Wednesday, July 31, 2 p.m., will address the neurological and biological effects of adversity on development and its corresponding impact on the health of the overall population. Tips for protection, prevention and promoting resilience within the community will also be discussed. All workshops are free and open to the public; interested participants are invited to call 973-940-3500 to receive log-in details.  

The Connections Matter curriculum invites providers, parents and community members to build caring connections to improve resiliency.  Discussion during the workshops will focus on understanding adverse childhood experiences and demonstrating how caring connections can serve as a primary buffer in the negative effects of trauma. The training is appropriate for parents and providers raising and teaching school aged children. 

During the Understanding ACEs workshop, parents, caregivers and other community providers will learn how childhood trauma impacts physical and neurological development and discuss methods for improving health and well-being across the lifespan. All three workshops are funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and led by Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey.  

Speakers will address the impact of adverse childhood experiences on social, emotional and cognitive development, and offer tips and strategies for building resiliency. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are widely recognized as falling into three distinct categories: abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. Examples of negative behavior said to result from ACEs include smoking, alcoholism, drug use, absenteeism and lack of physical activity. These behaviors can cause a cascade of physical and mental health problems, from diabetes to cancer to suicidal thoughts. It is estimated that approximately 67% of the population has experienced at least one adverse childhood experience.

Project Self-Sufficiency is bringing together professionals, providers and parents who are committed to increasing awareness of the impact of childhood trauma on juvenile development, future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. 

“Our goal is to help make our community a place in which every child can thrive by providing education and training on adverse childhood experiences and assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments,” explains Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon. “Protection, prevention and resilience promotion can profoundly improve health according to recent discoveries in neuroscience, epigenetics, and epidemiology. The tools identified in these workshops can positively impact public health, safety, and productivity, and reduce public and private costs now and for future generations.”