Toxic stress

UNDERSTANDING STRESS AND STIGMA

Understanding that all children NEED safe, nurturing, and healthy environments and supports to grow with resilience, means also understanding that not all children are able to receive this within their home or community.

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stress:
ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES  (ACES)

 

Chronic stress in childhood can influence how safe you feel and how stressed you are as an adult.  Left unaddressed, this stress can influence risk for mental illness and substance use disorder.

Adverse Childhood Exeperiences

Examples of extreme childhood stressors as per the 1998 adverse childhood experiences  (ACEs) study: 

  • abuse: physical, emotional, sexual

  • neglect: emotional, physical

  • household dysfunction:

    • parental mental illness,

    • parental addiction,

    • incarcerated parent,

    • losing a parent to death or divorce.

Today, it also includes chronic poverty and systemic racism

                                                                

Brain Story Certification Course

Additional Resources

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Stigma:

Substance use stigma prevents support from being created and available, prevents individuals from being offered compassion and care, and ultimately perpetuates cycles of stress and trauma in families whose parents have a substance use disorder.

Starlings Community Report, 2022

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STIGMA IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE

"Reducing stigma is key to effectively addressing problematic substance use, and is a critical step in recognizing the fundamental rights and dignity of all Canadians, including those who use substances."


Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Government of Canada, 2018
READ THE REPORT BELOW:

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Stigma also impacts the health and well-being of children and youth whose parent's have a substance use disorder, contributing to their increased risk for mental illness, substance use disorder, and suicide. 

Read the Starlings Community Report, 2022

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PROTECTIVE FACTORS

When we come together as a community and increase the protective factors a family has access to, we can prevent the risk associated with toxic stress and/ or mitigate any risk associate with childhood adversity.

Dr. Michael Ungar: Resilience Theory

The ACE Study: Building Self-Healing Communities

with Dr. Robert Anda:

“ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES ARE PROGRESSIVE, OF COURSE THEY EFFECT CHILDREN, BUT THEY PILE UP IN ADOLESCENTS AND INTO ADULTHOOD.

 

OUR JOB IS TO STOP THE PROGRESSION AND CREATE

SELF HEALING COMMUNITIES."

"Ending Discrimination with Love, Glitter, and Action" with

Cindy Blackstone