Iowans Thrive Blog
Featuring stories, research, and news on Iowa's movement to respond to ACEs
Nine2Thrive™ was created to help pregnant moms experiencing significant stress access the support they need for a healthy and successful pregnancy. Having support and resources—including safe and affordable housing, healthy food, and mental health care—improve not only the well-being of parents, but also their child. Reducing parent stress creates a buffering protection that allows babies to have a strong foundation for lifelong healthy development as they begin to grow in the womb.
A recent evaluation of the Nine2Thrive™ model in its second year found the following results and lessons learned that can inform similar efforts to prevent ACEs.
We are thrilled to have been selected as a finalist for the CareSource Foundation Grant Challenge, with the possibility of winning up to $50,000 to support our mission. From October 18-29, 2021, Iowans can vote once a day for the organization that is inspiring innovation on reducing health disparities and moving the needle on health equity.
We are proud to be recognized for this challenge grant among many organizations who are leading incredible work to improve Iowans' health and well-being. This grant would further our efforts to empower communities, organizations, and individuals to take informed actions that promote healing from ACEs and the healthy development of kids from the start.
Following Dr. Shawn Ginwright’s presentation on healing-centered engagement in May, Iowa ACEs 360 hosted a panel of Iowa leaders who shared what stood out to them about Dr. Ginwright’s principles and how those principles can be applied to work with youth.
Healing-centered engagement is a term Dr. Ginwright coined to describe an asset-based culturally rooted approach to collective healing and well-being for young people and their adult allies. These concepts are shaping the way we think about the work of responding to ACEs and promote well-being.
The panel was moderated by Kayla Powell, NYTD and Youth Development Coordinator with the Iowa Dept. of Human Rights and featured the following individuals:
Here are some of their comments made during the presentation:
Iowa ACEs 360’s May 7 event with Dr. Shawn Ginwright was an opportunity to expand our thinking about how we respond to ACEs.
Dr. Ginwright coined the term “healing-centered engagement” to describe an asset-based, culturally rooted approach to collective healing and well-being for young people and their adult allies. In his hour-long presentation to our network, he shared many critical points about this holistic approach and what we need to do to fully address the root causes of trauma.
Here we share just a couple of insights. We encourage you to spend time reading about healing-centered engagement and going deeper into the work through his nonprofit Flourish Agenda.
By Mady Colby, BSW intern with Iowa ACEs 360
I am currently in my final year of earning my bachelor’s in social work, and until a few months ago, I didn’t know what Adverse Childhood Experiences are. I have been in college for about 5 years, during which time, I have taken many psychology, human development, and social work classes; yet, it wasn’t until the end when I finally learned how ACEs can impact children mentally and physically.
During my mental health and well-being class, we started a unit called ACEs and neurobiology. My professor asked us to take a test and add up our ACE scores with no further explanation on what the scores meant. It was later revealed to us that individuals with an ACE score of 6 or more have roughly 20 years taken off their life expectancy. The class erupted with, “We are going to die in our 60’s?!”.
My professor consoled us and explained that individuals with an ACE score of 6 or more are at greater risk for turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking, alcoholism, and drug use to cope with the trauma they have experienced during their childhood, and that the reduced life expectancy is an average among a wide population. That was when I realized that ACEs have a big impact on people’s lives even outside of their childhood and this impact is not talked about enough.