Reduce ACES

Project Name:
Reduce Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences

Team Leaders, Members and their Organizational Affiliations:

  • Sharon Vreeland – 45th Parallel Resilience Network
  • Mary Gruman – 45th Parallel Resilience Network
  • Pam Singer – Midland Kids First
  • Toni Leaf-Odette – Munson Healthcare
  • Sue Miller – Leelanau County League of Women’s Voters 
  • Emily Turner – MDHHS
  • Maureen Clore, MDHHS

September 2022 Behavioral Health Summit Materials

Many individuals, agencies and organizations in our region are engaged in ACEs and resiliency work and messaging. However, many are operating without awareness of and/or collaboration with one another and there is a lack of public awareness of the existing services and resources available to learn about and/or promote resilience. Additionally, there is a need for consistent and common language, messaging, vision, voice, and evaluation around ACEs and resilience throughout Northern Michigan communities and within the multi-collaborative groups that work to influence them.

Performed a literature review and conducted secondary data review for all 10 counties within the Northwest CHIR to determine which counties to hold ACEs and resilience focus groups in. The data review informed the decision to hold focus groups in Leelanau and Kalkaska Counties to gather input from specific populations on what promotes and what impedes wellbeing and resilience within their community.

6 focus groups that asked questions related to health and wellbeing were conducted in Leelanau and Kalkaska Counties. Populations included in these focus groups included early childhood stakeholders, older adults, faith leaders, Hispanic and LGBTQIA+. Major findings from these focus groups indicate that populations who participated experience a variety of barriers to achieving optimal health and wellbeing, including financial challenges, lack of access to mental health care, stigma, and a lack of affordable housing and dependable transportation. In contrast, participants highlighted assets within their communities that help to enhance health and wellbeing, including family and parenting supports, community engagement opportunities, and faith-based services and supports.

  • Form a 10-county convening space in which all partners participate and collaborate to reduce ACEs and build resilience
  • Develop a shared vision and model for reducing ACEs and building resilience within communities across the region
  • Implement coordinated education and resilience-promoting activities within the region

April 2022 Behavioral Health Summit Materials

The current system is ineffective at preventing ACE’s.

One barrier in this region is the lack of a shared vision around systematic data collection and sharing on childhood experiences with harm and trauma.

Explored opportunities to collaborate with regional schools districts and other key stakeholders. Determined that there is a lack of data around state of mental health, supports, and gaps, and a lack of shared understandings about current state of the system. Working to develop a shared vision around the needs in the region around the needs of children around ACE’s.

  • Across the region in 2018, an average of :
    • 38.5% of high school students reported exper iencing 2 or more ACEs
    • 14.4% of high school students reported having planned suicide in the past year
    • Near ly 40% of high school students reported having exper ienced a major depressive episode
    • Only 50% of high school students reported having at trusted adult they could talk to

Source: MiPHY, 2018

Conduct an interview with superintendents within the Northwest Education Services School District to determine what district initiatives related to mental health already exist and what gaps need to be filled.