Professor Ron Prinz visits Birmingham

On August 1st Professor Ron Prinz, Director of the Parenting & Family Centre at the University of South Carolina, came to Birmingham as a guest of the West Midlands Combined Authority to talk about his experiences in setting up a Positive Parenting Programme in Carolina as part of a Randomised Controlled Trial.

The key learning from his talk was the importance of offering a universal service badged as a Public Health programme, rather than targeting specific groups of parents, (eg where domestic violence or child mental health problems were a feature); this meant that there was no stigma attached to participation.

The discussion afterwards made very relevant connections with local work in relation to Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma informed care and Inspector Sean Russell (Mental Health Commission Lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority) is setting up a Task and Finish Group to take this work forward.

New report highlights issues around routine ACEs enquiry

It’s good news that the Public Health Institute in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University have published a report on the REACh (Routine Enquiry about Adverse Childhood experiences) implementation pilot which has raised a number of questions and recommendations about the best way to support and train staff using the model, as well as the need for wider organisational culture change rather than using the approach as a stand alone tool.

Previous research has shown positive effects from routinely asking people at assessment about Adverse Childhood Experiences, and this report moves the debate on by identifying what still needs to happen in order to make REACh a more widely used screening tool.  

Study: The effect of multiple adverse childhood experiences on health: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This study from Public Health Wales sets out the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). It states: "To have multiple ACEs is a major risk factor for many health conditions. The outcomes most strongly associated with multiple ACEs represent ACE risks for the next generation (eg, violence, mental illness, and substance use). To sustain improvements in public health requires a shift in focus to include prevention of ACEs, resilience building, and ACE-informed service provision. The Sustainable Development Goals provide a global platform to reduce ACEs and their life-course effect on health."

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Trauma-informed care: What it is, and why it’s important

“Trauma-informed care is defined as practices that promote a culture of safety, empowerment, and healing. A medical office or hospital can be a terrifying experience for someone who has experienced trauma, particularly for childhood sexual abuse survivors. The perceived power differential, being asked to remove clothing, and having invasive testing can remind someone of prior episodes of abuse. This can lead to anxiety about medical visits, flashbacks during the visit, or avoidance of medical care.”

Dr L. Elizabeth Lincoln, a primary care physician at MGH, is featured in this article on the use of trauma informed care in healthcare.

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US house recognises importance of trauma informed care

The US House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution recognising the importance and effectiveness of trauma-informed care and calling for a national trauma awareness month and trauma-informed awareness day.

The ruling recognised that trauma informed care is an approach that can bring greater understanding and more effective ways to support and serve children, adults, families, and communities affected by trauma, and it called for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide substantial resources to better engage individuals and communities across the US to implement trauma-informed care.

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