ABOUT USResources for Resilience™ (RFR) is a nonprofit formed in 2017 whose mission is to offer trauma-informed and resiliency-focused classes and trainings. RFR was created in response to the public health crisis of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and seeks to address the ongoing stress and trauma that many face every day. The practical strategies that we offer are intended for anyone to use as we work to prevent future adversity and support each person's capacity for wellbeing. We believe that everyone has the ability to deepen their resilience and experience better days.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, published in 1994, was a collaborative effort of the Center for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente. This groundbreaking research looked at how 10 types of childhood trauma affected individuals’ long-term health. These categories included: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; physical and emotional neglect; living with a family member who was addicted to alcohol or other substances, who was depressed, or who experienced other forms of mental illness; experiencing parental divorce or separation; having a family member incarcerated; and witnessing your mother being abused.
The ACE Study found that the higher someone’s ACE score was (or the more types of childhood adversity a person had experienced), the higher their risk was for developing chronic disease, experiencing symptoms of mental illness, becoming a victim of violence, or experiencing many other physical, emotional, and social consequences in adulthood. The study indicated that most people (64%) have at least one ACE and that 12 percent of the population has an ACE score of four. Having an ACE score of 4 nearly doubles the risk of heart disease and cancer, increases the likelihood of abusing alcohol by 700 percent, and elevates the risk of attempted suicide by 1200 percent.
These sobering statistics led Robert Block, former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, to name ACEs as “the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today.” This points to the tremendous need for responses to this issue that are not just treatment-oriented, but that offer preventative solutions. The mission of Resources for Resilience™ is to offer such strategies to address the public health crisis of ACEs and instill the hope that adversity is not destiny.
We know that developmental trauma often creates problems with emotion regulation and can impede our ability to establish trusting connections. However, neuroscience research has also taught us that we are able to form new pathways in the brain that can lead to deeper connection and wellbeing. Using the work of pioneers such as Brené Brown, Judith Herman, Peter Levine, Elaine Miller-Karas, Pat Ogden, Stephen Porges, and Babette Rothschild as our foundation, we offer simple tools that are designed help people self-regulate and connect with others more effectively. Participants are then encouraged to teach these strategies to others in their schools, agencies, organizations and communities, sharing with them the hope of neuroplasticity and empowering them to help prevent future adversity while supporting each person’s capacity for wellbeing.