Have you ever wondered why some people seem to thrive in life, but others seem to find life so difficult?

At Envisage, we serve teens, women and men from all sorts of backgrounds, facing all sorts of circumstances. Some have grown up in loving homes. Some are educated and working in their chosen profession. Some are married or in relationships.

However, many of the individuals that we serve have grown up in adversity, such as neglect, abuse, addictions or mental health challenges in their families. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to consider how growing up in a home with continual abuse, physical fighting and addictions can put a child at a disadvantage compared to someone raised in a loving home, with nurturing parents who provide for their needs and teach them life-skills to succeed. But research in the 90’s led to a whole new understanding on how childhood adversity actually effects a person’s brain development and health. You can read more about the impact of “Adverse Childhood Experiences” (ACES) HERE.

Although childhood adversity can have negative impacts in people’s lives and how they function, ACES don’t get to be the end of the story – there is good news! Each of us has been created in a way that responds positively to protective factors which can build our resilience! This video provides very helpful information about how resilience can be built in children and communities …

There are many protective factors that build resilience to mitigate against the impact of ACES. The list below was copied from Buncombe ACE Learning Collaborative.

Resilience Builders from Buncombe ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Learning Collaborative:

Social Connections: Having friends or family who can be there for you during a tough time or to support you can be a huge factor for resilience. Communities can support each other whenever there is something going on. The single most important factor in developing resilience in children is to have a stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. People who have strong connections with family and friends and close social supports are better able to get help during difficult times.

Resilience: Learn to handle stress and take care of yourself, so you can take care of others. Resilience can be built by having relationships with others to support you or through learning skills on how to keep the nervous system regulated and within a resilient zone. Resources for Resilience offers trainings on many of these skills and this website has videos and information on skills, too.

Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development:
Providing a safe and nurturing environment for a child physically, mentally, and emotionally can allow them to grow up stronger and more resilient to trauma.

Concrete Support in Times of Need: Having basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter met through whatever resources or support you can access provides a strong environment for resilience to grow. (2-1-1 is a local resource that can help your with access to the basics).

Social and Emotional Competence: Identify and understand your feelings, sensations, and emotions in order to express and process them in a healthy way without turning to harmful coping mechanisms.( https://buncombeaces.org/build-resilience-2/).

While Envisage may not be able to provide all of these interventions to families to overcome ACES, we can be an important piece of the puzzle of building resilient families and communities. We are committed to serving in a way that is trauma informed and to providing connection in the form of safe, stable, nurturing relationships as the foundation of all the other support we provide.

“Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships for parents are good for children too. They may help interrupt the cycle of violence and reduce children’s exposure to abuse and neglect.” (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/SSNRs-for-Parents.pdf)