Today we’re joined by two Arizonans working to create healthier communities that recognize, address and prevent traumatic experiences. We’re not referring to the type of trauma you see in the traffic section of the news each day. Rather, we’re discussing the impacts of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs, as they’re commonly known) and toxic stress that can stem from harmful relationships with the people, places and policies that surround each of us. These experiences are often connected with things like abuse and neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse in the home, or the loss of a loved one. Sadly, recent evidence indicates that Arizona has the highest rate in the nation of people experiencing multiple ACEs. Today’s guests are working to change that. Angie Burleson is the Executive Director of the Arizona ACEs Consortium, a statewide collaborative that engages professionals and agencies to increase awareness about the causes, effects, and opportunities to decrease ACEs in our community. They do so, in part, by training school leaders, teachers and staff to create trauma-sensitive environments for Arizona’s children. Shomari Jackson is a member of the ACEs Consortium and is incoming Executive Director of the South Mountain Works Coalition, a non-profit working with youth and leaders in the South Mountain communities of Phoenix to prevent substance abuse.  If you or anyone you know are navigating through a traumatic experience, or if it would be helpful to speak with a peer who’s gone through a similar experience, support is always available by calling Arizona’s Crisis Line at 1-800-631-1314 or by calling the Peer Support Warm Line at 602-347-1100.

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