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.
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.
Examples of extreme childhood stressors as per the 1998 adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) study:
abuse: physical, emotional, sexual
neglect: emotional, physical
parental mental illness,
losing a parent to death or divorce.
Today, it also includes chronic poverty and systemic racism
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
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:
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
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."