Chronic, severe stressors in early childhood can cause biological responses that are toxic to the developing brain and can have long-term consequences for health and wellness. But science also tells us that responsive relationships and strong communities can buffer the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), allowing children to develop to their potential and thereby contribute to their communities.
With that in mind, a broad coalition is working across Tennessee to build greater understanding of toxic stress and strengthen the policies and programs that can prevent and reduce adversity in early childhood. This groundbreaking public-private partnership effort is led by the ACE Awareness Foundation, the governor and first lady of Tennessee, and leading policymakers.
At the center of this work is a knowledge mobilization effort, which will train 100 health, education, business, and government leaders in Tennessee to use Strategic Frame Analysis to more effectively communicate about ACEs. FrameWorks researchers are tailoring existing framing recommendations to the local context, building on existing science translation work undertaken in collaboration with the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, the Palix Foundation, and other organizations over the past decade.
Watch this space for forthcoming research reports, recommendations, campaign materials, and even a new interactive game that helps ordinary people better understand how and why to build more resilience in communities.