HELENA – Many people look fondly on their childhood, but traumatic events that occur during youth can end up causing major problems down the line.
On Monday, organizers with Elevate Montana, a children and family wellness group, hosted a screening of the documentary “Resilience” at the Helena Middle School auditorium. The film looks at the effects of what researchers have deemed Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) which are events during childhood like mental and physical abuse or having an incarcerated parent.
According to Elevate Montana Coordinator Tina Eblen, the more ACEs that children have during their childhood, the more likely they are to develop health problems later in life like high blood pressure or heart disease.
Eblen said the hope is that raising awareness through education and films like this will create a better, more compassionate Helena.
“We can all benefit from being more compassionate, kinder people. We can make a change for our future. We can understand that Adverse Childhood Experiences impact our children and we can prevent those from happening,” Eblen said.
On Tuesday, the group is putting on two presentations at the Lewis and Clark Library talking about ACEs and how to combat them.
“While Adverse Childhood Experiences can impact the life of a child,” the group said, “a loving, caring, healthy relationship can offset the damage caused by ACEs.”
The first ACE Awareness training session begins at 12:00 p.m. and the second starts at 6:30 p.m.
For more information about Elevate Montana and upcoming events, click here.