On April 27, “Healing Orange County from Childhood Trauma” held its first meeting in Mission Viejo, CA at a local restaurant from 6 to 8 pm. We posted it on Meetup.com as the founding meeting of Orange County (CA) ACEs Connection. I was honored to co-create the meeting with my dear friend Dana Brown, Southern California director for ACEsConnection.com.
We felt awe as three education activists, six professional trauma therapy providers, individuals suffering child trauma and a total of 12 people already acting as leaders in Trauma-Informed Care and resilience building, filled our table to overflowing. An additional 15 folks who couldn’t attend due to schedule conflict signed up. That’s a total of 27 compassionate people, all glad to hear that finally there’s action to get ACEs child trauma out of the closet in the upscale, but down in-denial, OC. My earlier blog on Trauma-Informed Care is here: http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/trauma-informed-care/
We were all so excited we forgot to take a group photo — in lieu of which above are LA education leader James Encinas, myself, and Dana Brown in May 2014 at San Diego’s model Trauma-Informed Care school Cherokee Point Elementary: https://acestoohigh.com/2013/07/22/at-cherokee-point-elementary-kids-dont-conform-to-school-school-conforms-to-kids/
Everyone requested and donned name tags as we began by asking each to self-introduce. Folks got so involved that they began asking each other questions around the table and networking on the spot. Soon we were really getting to know each other for more than an hour.
Next, Dana gave an overview of ACEsConnection and the ACE Study. Nearly two-thirds of Americans experience childhood trauma, according to the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, she said, and suffer chronic disease, depression and other illnesses because of it. Here’s the short video we posted on the invite (full text of invite is below): http://www.acesconnection.com/blog/ace-study-co-founders-tell-story-on-dvd-here-s-an-intro/
Dana then announced that we’re forming Orange County (CA) ACEs Connection, and asked everyone to please join ACEsConnection.com and then the Orange County group. You are welcome to go to ACEsConnection and join us here: http://www.acesconnection.com/g/orange-county-ca-aces-connection
I stressed that ACEsConnection will be the organizing platform for communication and future meetings; we’re just advertising on Meetup.com like posting an ad in the local paper.
Finally I introduced myself as author of a book and website on the incredible prevalence of attachment disorder and developmental trauma in the US: http://attachmentdisorderhealing.com/the-silent-epidemic-of-attachment-disorder/
I have the ACE Pyramid linking to ACEsConnection on every page of my website, I said, because ACEsConnection is action-central on the facts about and the healing methods for trauma.
Then all the participants began sharing their eagerness to expand our reach and include many more Orange County residents into the process of bringing hope and healing to our neighborhoods. One educator proposed a screening of the key documentary on trauma healing “Paper Tigers” at Dana Point’s high school; a professor wants to organize a screening at her university in Irvine; a therapist wants to show it at her trauma clinic; another practitioner wants to screen it at her church.
The group asked unanimously for a second meeting, hopefully on the third or fourth Wednesday of the month, or perhaps in odd-numbered months as the founding group did in San Diego. Three activists volunteered locations for the next meeting; others proposed that ads be put in the local Penny-saver leaflet and/or county paper Orange County Register to build the next meeting.
One leader said publishing a schedule of speeches on specific trauma topics and healing modes is a great way to build meetings. The group was so positive that we may try to create a speakers steering committee at our next meeting to draw up such a list of topics and speakers from among us.
Everyone was invigorated and looking forward to our next gathering. Dana and I will be in touch with everyone for more information on next steps.
Here’s the text of our Meetup.com advertisement that’s drawn 27 interested participants to date (and growing). Feel free to use it!
Nearly two-thirds of Americans experience childhood trauma, according to the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, and suffer chronic disease, depression and other illnesses because of it. Here’s a short video about it: http://www.acesconnection.com/blog/ace-study-co-founders-tell-story-on-dvd-here-s-an-intro/
Is that you, your child, your friend or family member, your student, patient, or client? It’s likely.
Come meet us to learn how childhood adversity can last a lifetime — but it doesn’t have to.
It’s our first meeting of ACEsConnection in Orange County, CA, part of a growing movement now 8,000+ strong nationally and internationally on the social network http://www.acesconnection.com/
We’d love to see you and hear your story, whether you’re an individual suffering trauma, a service provider, educator, community organizer, concerned parent, or any compassionate human being. By listening, we can see how we might help one another in building resilient communities in Orange County.
Kathy’s news blogs expand on her book “DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME: The Silent Epidemic of Attachment Disorder—How I accidentally regressed myself back to infancy and healed it all.” Watch for the continuing series each Friday, as she explores her journey of recovery by learning the hard way about Attachment Disorder in adults, adult Attachment Theory, and the Adult Attachment Interview.
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