Experts discuss childhood trauma and healing strategies

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The public is invited to a virtual and interactive workshop on Building Self-Healing Communities Following Trauma, Monday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m., presented by Project Self-Sufficiency. The Gathering is the next installment in the Pizza & PACEs series hosted by the nonprofit agency which is designed to facilitate conversation on issues surrounding Positive and Negative Childhood Experiences (PACE). Experts from the New Jersey Office of Resilience will explain how the brain adapts to traumatic experiences, the genetic impact of trauma across generations, the health and social issues caused by trauma, and methods communities can use to bring about positive change. Guest speakers will include New Jersey Office of Resilience Executive Director David Ellis, Supervisor Kenneth Fowlkes and young community navigator Timothy Woody. The presentation is free and open to the public, but prior registration is required. Interested participants are encouraged to call the agency to register and receive login information.

Negative childhood experiences are widely recognized as falling into three distinct categories: child abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Smoking, alcoholism, drug use, absenteeism and lack of physical activity are examples of negative behaviors that are said to result from adverse experiences during childhood. These behaviors can cause a cascade of physical and mental health problems, from diabetes to cancer to thoughts of suicide. It is estimated that around 67% of the population had at least one adverse childhood experience.

The new Pizza & PACEs sessions build on the work already underway at the Self-Sufficiency Project. Trauma experts and guest speakers discuss the impact of adverse childhood experiences on social, emotional and cognitive development, and offer tips and strategies for building resilience in regular workshops. The agency’s PACEs program brings together professionals, providers and parents who are committed to raising awareness of the impact of childhood trauma on youth development, victimization and future perpetration of violence, as well as health and opportunities throughout life.

Project Self-Sufficiency’s Pizza & PACE program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Call 973-940-3500 to register or to obtain connection details for remote participation via Zoom. Project Self-Sufficiency is located at 127 Mill Street, Newton.

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