Our ‘Resilience’ event at Nano Nagle Place on Wednesday 24th October was a resounding success, with front-line practitioners from health, education, social, youth and community sectors attending.
We were delighted to welcome Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr. Thomas Moloney, along with our guest speaker, Dr Nicola O’Sullivan and panellists, Martin O’Connor and Áine Cahill.
The event included the screening of Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope, a one-hour documentary which premiered at the Sundance International Film Festival and won Best Documentary at the Carmel International Film Festival 2016. It explores the effects of toxic stress on early brain development and the impact it can have on health.
Our aim was to highlight the importance of equipping Irelands’ frontline practitioners with the skills to tune into and engage with those who turn to them for support and to raise awareness of the impact that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can have on individuals across their lifetime.
One of the key messages in the documentary is ‘the child may not remember, but the body remembers.’ There is a correlation between early childhood adversity and poor health outcomes in later life. Toxic stress explains how ACEs can ‘get under the skin’ and trigger biological reactions that lead to those outcomes.
The positive feedback we received from attendees shows how everyone was touched and inspired by this powerful documentary.
Taking those comments, we created a ‘Tree of Hope’ to illustrate the role that Ireland’s frontline practitioners have in responding to clients who turn to them for support, especially acknowledging the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and remembering that there is always hope.
Our founder, Dr Maeve Hurley, said: “The three principles to improve outcomes for children and families are supporting responsive relationships, reducing sources of stress in the lives of children and parents and strengthening core life skills. The quality of the practitioner/ client relationship is widely recognised as a key component of improved outcomes.”
Our CPD-approved ABLE training (Adopt a relational approach, Build, Listen and Empower) helps frontline workers to build responsive relationships, listen actively and reflectively and to empathise, relate and respond appropriately to individuals, while attending to their own well-being.