Aligning Resources Across Georgia To Support Resiliency
To Our Resilient Georgia Partners and Stakeholders:
Please join us tomorrow on March 11th, from 11:00 am -12:30 pm at our first Resilient Georgia General Meeting in the new year to learn and engage in discussion around Early Childhood Mental Health (0-5 years). Watch this In Brief: Early Childhood Mental Health Video from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University for a quick introduction to the topic. We will have several experts from across the state share some very exciting updates and best practices at our meeting, and we look forward to your attendance. Agenda (with zoom link) and meeting documents can be accessed here.

We would like to join The Carter Center in honoring, celebrating, and thanking First Lady Rosalynn Carter for her exemplary contributions and tireless leadership over the past five decades in the field of mental health across Georgia, our nation, and the world. A list of highlights and a video of Rosalynn Carter’s achievements over 50 years of mental health leadership can be found here.

This week we hope you take a moment to read about the impressive work that our Augusta Coalition and their program Resilient Teens is doing through our Resilient Georgia Regional Grantee partnership with the Pittulloch Foundation.
We would also like to highlight the following resources and news updates:

  • The city of Atlanta & the USDA Conservation Fund are tackling food insecurity head-on by creating the country's largest free food forest in the Browns Mill neighborhood of southeast Atlanta, "where the closest grocery store is a 30-minute bus ride away."
  • Ashleigh Dennis-Silas, the clinical director of CHRIS Counseling Center-Gwinnett, and Alfred Garner, the director of Zone 3 Community Initiatives and manager of CHRIS 180’s Cure Violence Atlanta program, talk about some of Chris 180 new undertakings to address the heightened need for behavioral health services.
  • C-QUL, an acronym for choosing a quality life", is the name of a new nonprofit founded by Andrea Cooke that is planning to help Macon-Bibb county remove barriers to mental health care.
  • Voices for Georgia's Children conducts daily interviews with several Georgia State Representatives in their "What's in it for kids?" Important Conversations with Georgia Lawmakers informative video segments.
Thank you as always for your continued partnership and support, and for continuing to share helpful resources and training with us to disseminate as we all work collectively towards a more resilient and trauma-informed Georgia! 


Brenda Fitzgerald, MD
Executive Board Chair
Emily Anne Vall, PhD
Executive Director
Regional Coalition Spotlight

Can you give us a brief description of The Augusta Coalition?

The Augusta Coalition focuses its efforts on teaching and building resiliency skills among teens 13-19 years in the 14-county area, educating the community on the impacts of trauma and strengthening support for programs and services.

Augusta Coalition
Coalition Geographic Service Area: Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Warren, Washington, Wilkes

What are some of the innovative partnerships that have helped address the behavioral health needs of the region?

The Augusta Coalition partners includes 8 community organizations and two departments at Augusta University: the CSRA Foundation and the Medical College of Georgia Foundation.
What are some accomplishments you would like to highlight?
  • The Augusta Coalition successfully piloted and launched a Resilient Teens program in Fall 2020.
  • They've built a strong coalition of partners to advance the message of trauma and its impact on communities by involving medical students in the delivery of the Resilient Teen curriculum, working with communities on the Handle With Care project, creating a logo, Instagram account, toolkit, and a website.

Click here to read more about the amazing work the Augusta Coalition is doing to address the needs of the region.

Mental Health is the Next Pandemic
As mentioned above, the need for behavioral health services could not be greater. This story in the NY Times, narrated by Nikki Campo, about her son navigating his suicidal thoughts magnifies one of the scariest impacts of the pandemic on children. Fortunately, Campo and her family were able to receive appropriate help and coping strategies that are highlighted in this article.

Looking towards solutions, we are happy to share this report from The Lily, a Washington Post Affiliate, that women and girls starting at 13 years old, can now be screened for anxiety as part of routine preventive services under the Affordable Care Act without additional cost. This could not come at a better time as experts found that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety over the course of their lifetime.

Also, please feel free to share this free online resource focused on maternal mental health peer support groups for mothers navigating postpartum depression and anxiety hosted by the Georgia Chapter of Perinatal Support International. These groups are not only for first-time mothers, but they are for any Georgia mom that is currently pregnant or recently had a baby.

Lastly, this article from Mckinsey & Company examines ways to address the gap in behavioral health care and promote whole-person care through actions across the public, private, and social sectors.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Nurturing resiliency in children that translates to adulthood is complicated, but the following resources present some of the best practices and feedback on policies geared towards this process.
Starting at the pregnancy stage, Pickles & Ice Cream GA, a parenting blog, promotes the importance of healthy nutrition during pregnancy as well as activities such as bonding with your baby in this short video to help children "grow a healthy and happy brain for life."

Moving on to early childhood, the Child and Family Blog reports on suggestions from neuroscience that because parents are usually the source of their children's earliest experiences, they are also more likely to influence their children's brain development and interpretation of past and future experiences. They also argue that in order to properly support children's brain development, we need to support parents.

Furthermore, this analysis from Child Trends looking at Georgia's performance on State Policies for Healthy Schools for 2019-2020 shows that Georgia is making positive strides in addressing the CDC and ASCD's 'Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) framework through policymaking. The framework highlights how schools can address all aspects of children’s physical, mental, and social well-being to help them learn and thrive. The state is leading the national average in policy creation for 5 of the 10 WSCC's components, including social and emotional climate.
COVID-19 Resources
  • The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has assembled a range of resources for guardians and educators to support grieving children coping with crisis and loss as a result of the Pandemic.
  • CNN health is shining light on the need for more mental health support for Black nurses who are caring for Covid-19 patients. They also shared RE:SET, a free mental health program that was recently launched by the National Black Nurses Association as part of the solution.
  • The Lily sheds light on the plight of parents that are left scrambling for child care as 20,000 daycare facilities have closed since the pandemic began.
  • Register here to join WellStar Health on the 2nd Friday of every month for a briefing on the latest updates on Covid-19 responses and vaccines. The first one will be on March 12th. Also, Join them for their Congregational Health Network Monthly Briefing on the 3rd Friday of every month, these briefings are geared towards faith organizations of all denominations. The first one will be on March 19th.
Racial Equity Resources
  • A year after the tragic death of Ahmaud Arbery, NBC News reports on the impacts on Black runners including becoming extra vigilant and limiting their run to only places where they are known.
  • PBS NewsHour highlights data findings on the impact of Covid-19 on U.S. life expectancy from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. It shows a 1-year decline in life expectancy for the total U.S. population but as much as a 6-year decline for Black Americans.
  • If you are looking for a way to discuss privilege and racism with your child, look no further than Barbie! In a new vlog post highlighted in this Motherly article, Barbie and her best friend Nikki talk about racism in a way that children can understand. 
  • The children and youth research organization, Child Trends, published 3 briefs in this series that address structural racism and policy considerations for supporting young Black children and families.
Be sure to read additional resources on the topics above, and more, here.
"For there is always light. If only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it."
- Amanda Gorman