Community advocates discuss Adverse Childhood Experiences

WAKE COUNTY (WTVD) -- Nearly 300 people gathered at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh for "ACEs Resilience: What's working in Wake County," presented by Advocates for Health in Action.

"The goal today is for people to get more ideas about what is working to get better outcomes and improved health and improved social outcomes," said Sara Merz, Executive Director of Advocates for Health in Action.

ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. Those experiences include neglect, household dysfunction such as mental illness and physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

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The event centered around building resilience to these ACEs and improving health in the entire community.

Representatives from the Apex and Raleigh Police Departments and Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman were among the speakers.

"So many things, including incarceration, bad health impacts, poverty, all arise most often out of these adverse childhood experiences," Freeman said.

The focus was on what's being done in Wake County.

"We're ensuring that our officers are trained on how to provide a trauma-informed approach when they're interacting with victims and responding to calls," said Danica Coleman, Apex Police Department Victim Advocate.

Those in attendance said the event was inspired by the film Resilience, directed by James Redford, son of Robert.

Advocates for Health in Action and Marbles Kids Museum are having free screenings of Resilience. The next one is at Marbles IMAX December 13th.

Screenings are free but you do need tickets. More information here
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