Address Trauma. Strengthen Resilience.

Facilitators and participants in Getting Ahead initiatives share a common language. However, the steady rise in sources of unaddressed trauma in childhood—from parental substance abuse and domestic violence to systemic barriers experienced by marginalized groups and the heightened inequities of a global pandemic—creates a new urgency and imperative.

We must integrate trauma science and trauma-informed language into our Getting Ahead curricula to help participants heal from trauma and build resilience, both personally and in their communities.

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Getting Ahead ACEs and PACEs Supplement: Addressing Trauma Through Building Trust and Resilience affirms the conclusions of international public health experts: Unaddressed trauma is a public health crisis, and peer support groups are fundamental to healing individuals and communities.

ACEs stands for adverse childhood experiences, referring to traumatic events that occur before age 18. Together with Getting Ahead and Bridges champions, local and state ACEs coalitions are building a leadership pipeline to bring trauma-informed voices to the table. With their transformational fuel, communities co-create tools and strategies that support healing and resilience for all.

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This supplement makes the case for rising to this urgent challenge and lays the ground- work for Getting Ahead facilitators to:

  • Recognize and share the ever-growing body of trauma science
  • Incorporate trauma-informed language and practices into Getting Ahead
  • Help build trust, resilience, and positive social connections among participants
  • Identify resources, assets, and policies that support trauma awareness and response

Adrienne B. Elder holds a Master of Public Health degree with specific training as a Certified Health Education Specialist, a national Bridges Out of Poverty trainer, and a certified Getting Ahead program facilitator. She serves on the National Trauma Campaign Core Team and in the ACEs Connection Speakers & Trainers Bureau to help community coalitions become trauma-informed.

Philip E. DeVol is an international consultant, coauthor of Bridges Out of Poverty, and author of Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World, among many other publications. Bridges and Getting Ahead initiatives are in use in hundreds of U.S. communities and many others around the world.