Adverse Childhood Experiences Conference

June 5, 2019

Family Centre, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda [CURB], and the Inter Agency Committee for Children and Families [IAC] held a press conference to announce a 2-Day Adverse Childhood Experiences [ACEs] Conference being held in Bermuda, Thursday, June 13, and Friday, June 14.

The ACEs Conference is being held for the second year in a row by Family Centre due to popular demand after last year’s ground- breaking ACEs conference. Family Centre has been at the forefront of advocating for the issues facing vulnerable children and families. Adverse Childhood Experiences and their consequences continue to evolve, and those consequences are increasingly apparent in our community.

“We are pleased that the community has embraced the importance of understanding ACEs by the attendance at last years’ conference and the growing anticipation of this years’ conference. Adverse Childhood Experiences has great relevance here on the island, and the community ACEs survey that is in progress as we speak will verify our theory that what we are seeing played out in many of our families, homes, schools, and at work have the underlying cause of unaddressed trauma or untreated adverse childhood experiences,” stated Martha Dismont, Executive Director of the Family Centre.

Family Centre’s Dr. Stephanie Guthman is leading on the ACEs conference and has experienced first-hand the impact of ACEs through her training and clinical work on island. She is a strong advocate for understanding ACEs and its impact.

According to Dr. Guthman, “In our community, we are seeing the many consequences of ACEs in the behavior of children and adults. It is important that we look at factors ‘beneath the surface’ to find the root causes of the issues. The Bermuda ACEs survey that we are conducting, in partnership with the Bermuda Health Council, will provide critical data to determine the scope of ACEs in Bermuda, and will provide us with the needed information to determine the prevention and treatment required to address ACEs in Bermuda.”

Dr. Guthman believes that if we address the issue of ACEs, we have a good chance of changing the trajectory of health and behavioral outcomes for Bermuda. This is a collective effort that requires all stakeholder buy-in to create a big shift for the island.

Conference Schedule:

  • Day 1 – Understanding & Addressing Racial Trauma [Thursday, June 13] at HSBC, 37 Front Street, 9:30 am– 5:00 pm

A spokesperson said, “Dr. Kenneth Hardy, an internationally recognized Clinician, author and Trainer will be a keynote speaker. He has challenged society to think critically about the hidden, but significant connections that often exist between trauma and issues of oppression. He has created with his colleague a training manual for Trauma Based Family Therapy.

“Dr. Hardy has also provided training to Human Services agencies devoted to providing Trauma-based, culturally competent care to children, couples and families. Dr. Hardy will be joined by others to provide an informative and interactive experience for the attendees on the day.

  • Day 2 – Economics of ACEs – The Economics of ACEs [Friday, June 14] at Hamilton Princess, 76 Pitts Bay Road, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

“Vincent J. Felitti, MD is one of the keynote speakers for Day 2. He is a renowned physician and researcher and is one of the world’s foremost experts on childhood trauma. He is leading the charge in research into how adverse childhood experiences affect adults. He is co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences [ACE] Study, a long-term, in-depth, analysis of over 17,000 adults.

“The ACEs study revealed a powerful relationship between our emotional experiences as children and our physical and mental health as adults. It showed that humans convert childhood traumatic emotional experiences into organic disease later in life. Dr. Felitti’s groundbreaking research remains extremely relevant to today’s healthcare models. He helps us to understand these physical and mental traumas and how to ultimately prevent them.

“The conference has an exciting lineup of noteworthy speakers who are expected to educate and inspire.”

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