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Giving Health Advocates the Tools to Talk About Childhood Trauma

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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are a critical public health issue with implications for every sector of society, but communicating about them can be challenging. In 2017, PHI’s Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) partnered with Kidsdata.org and ACEsConnection to provide a joint training for Northern California advocates to help improve their ability to understand science on ACEs, identify locally-relevant ACEs data, and develop compelling messages about their work. Participants hailed from various government departments and other sectors, including First 5 and local public health departments, county offices of education, and other agencies.

Upon completion of the training, 73% of participants reported that their ability to use data to make their case was either “advanced” or “intermediate/advanced” compared to just 38% from before. One participant shared: “My messaging will be more on point, and I’ll be a little better prepared to pivot conversations that might otherwise be derailed.” Participants also remain engaged in efforts to convince decision-makers to invest greater resources in collecting data on ACEs.

Looking for tips on how to communicate effectively with policymakers about ACEs? Read BMSG’s blog post.

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