Community Resilience Coalition of Guelph & Wellington
Working toward a resilient community that prevents and reduces the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Guelph and Wellington County
Build Connections for Resilient Kids
We all face challenges in life. Resilience is our ability to weather those challenges. While resilience can be strengthened at any stage of life, childhood is the best time to develop the basis of resilience.
Connections with adults can help children develop resilience. All adults have a role in fostering resilience by making positive connections with children.
We all have a role to play.
Every child is filled with extraordinary promise. Science tells us that both positive and negative experiences shape a child’s development and impact health and wellbeing over their lives. As a community, we have a shared responsibility, and opportunity, to promote positive childhood experiences that support healthy development, positive mental health, and resilience.
What role are you playing to promote positive childhood experiences?
The Science of Adversity.
What are ACEs? ACEs are Adverse Childhood Experiences. ACEs are potentially traumatic or stressful experiences that may happen in a person’s life before the age of 18. ACEs can increase the risk of negative health behaviours and outcomes later in life. 1
There are many types of adversity that create a similar stress response in children. Neglect, abuse, discrimination, living in poverty, exposure to community violence, and systemic racism can all impact the brain and developing body.3
According to a local study of adults in Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph2
Resilience helps us weather adversity.
It is possible to prevent and reduce the effects of adversity.
Resilience is a person’s ability to successfully adapt to adversity and maintain their wellbeing.4
Resilience is not an individual characteristic, nor do we develop it on our own. Instead it is a process that depends on our relationships with other people, the resources available to us, and the environment that surrounds us. 4,5
The connections we feel to family, friends, community, and culture are protective factors that work together to build resilience. 5,6,7,8
A nurturing and supportive relationship with at least one supportive adult is the most important factor for children to develop resilience and do well despite experiencing significant adversity.
Resilience can buffer the effects of risk factors like abuse, neglect, racism, and violence.
Childhood is the best time to develop the foundation of resilience, but it can be strengthened at any stage of life. 8
Build Your Own Resilience
You can do things to help strengthen resilience, such as:
The Community Resilience Coalition of Guelph & Wellington envisions a resilient community that prevents and reduces the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). We work together to decrease risk factors that impact health and wellbeing and increase protective factors to build resilience in children, youth, and their families.
Call to Action
In 2017, over 100 people came to an event to learn more about adverse childhood experiences. ACEs Coalition of Guelph & Wellington established
Training and workshops, local survey (led by WDG Public Health)
School pilot, website, Resilience Champions toolkit, online training
Now and beyond
Name change, tailored training, Building Connections for Resilient Kids
1 Felitti, V.J., Anda, R.F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D.F., Spitz, A.M., Edwards, V., Koss, M.P. & Marks, J.S. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 14(4), 245-258.
2Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (2019). Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Childhood Experience Study (report in progress). Guelph, ON.
3 Center on the Developing Child Harvard University. (n.d.) ACEs and Toxic Stress: Frequently Asked Questions.
4 Masten, A.S. (2014). Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development. The Guilford Press, New York.
5 Ungar, M. (2019). Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success. Sutherland House. Toronto.
6 Alberta Family Wellness (2018). Resilience: Why do some of us bounce back from adversity better than others do?. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
7 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention. (2019). Risk and Protective Factors.
8 Center on the Developing Child Harvard University (2020). Resilience.