Aligning Resources Across Georgia To Support Resiliency
To Our Resilient Georgia Partners and Stakeholders:
First, some announcements:

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who attended Resilient Georgia's General Meeting on October 28th with special guests, U.S. Olympian and American Track & Field Champion Kenny Selmon and Storyteller Chrishaunda Lee Perez! Kenny Selmon knows how to overcome hurdles in the race of life. We encourage you to watch the interview if you have not already and share it with others. A huge thank you to Kenny and Chrishaunda for such an inspiring and heart warming conversation about resilience and chasing your dreams! And thank you to all of you for helping us celebrate the collective impact Resilient Georgia has created over the past two years!

Not your everyday meeting! We are so excited to announce Arts & ACEs: an arts-based professional development workshop linking care providers with creative strategies. This event, taking place in partnership between Resilient Georgia and Sewn Arts, will be conducted virtually on December 1st from 9:30-1. This half-day workshop will lead participants through creative approaches for the prevention of and recovery from ACEs. Participants will experience for themselves the positive effects of creative exploration, unpack the power of the arts on wellbeing, and leave with the tools needed to integrate high-quality arts-based programming in their own practice. Attendees will be entered into a raffle to receive free tickets to local arts & culture experiences. Register by November 19th to receive a customized Arts Kit to use during the workshop!  

Our October spotlight focused on addressing vaccine hesitancy. Read our blog post to learn more about the reasons for hesitancy, as well as local and national organizations working to alleviate people’s concerns about getting vaccinated.
We would also like to highlight several resources and news updates:

Finally, we would like to share these upcoming events and trainings:

  • We’re excited for Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s 2nd annual Trauma and Resilience Summit, which will bring Georgia’s early care and learning community together to increase understanding and strengthen capacity around trauma-responsive care for the birth to 5 population. This is a free event designed for early care and learning professionals and community partners. Please register for the December 4th event. 
  • Join Georgia’s Essentials for Childhood Initiative and Gwinnett County Public Libraries for the Georgia Reads Book Club. Visit this page to host a book club, join one, or learn more about the book “What Happened to You?” by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PHD and Oprah Winfrey.
  • Looking for a supportive 1:1 volunteer role and the opportunity to learn coaching skills? Partners in Change's program trains volunteers to be a coach to under-resourced adults who are pursuing new goals in their lives. Through weekly 45-minute conversations over one year, volunteer partnerships help individuals build long-term resilience and personal skills. PIC's next Volunteer Coach Trainings are taking place on December 7 & 12 - click here to sign up for these dates or email to learn more.
  • Applications are being now accepted for the Spring 2022 Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) program cohort. Virtual classes begin in January 2022. TAC is a comprehensive, evidence-based training designed to provide mental health professionals and child welfare and adoption professionals with the clinical knowledge and skills needed to effectively serve the adoption kinship network. 

For many, the winter and the holiday season represent a time with less naturally-occurring light and joy, which usually means more stress and depressive symptoms. This article understands the difficulty winter brings, and offers a wealth of tips for maintaining mental health in the upcoming colder days. We encourage readers to take in the experiences of others and see what might resonate for your personal practices this winter.

Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more resources, events, and news. Thank you all for your continued support in preventing ACEs, healing adversity and promoting resilience for children and families across Georgia!


Brenda Fitzgerald, MD
Executive Board Chair
Emily Anne Vall, PhD
Executive Director
Sector Highlight: Healthcare Providers
We are all aware of the pressure and stress that healthcare workers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the rising risk for general work burnout, increased levels of second-hand trauma have taken a toll on healthcare providers, creating a significant uptick in mental health symptoms. Burnout has an obvious cost - for both providers and patients - but answers to solving increased burnout are always not so clear cut. Solutions for burnout often involve changing the work system - which requires time, resources, and planning. Recently, however, some organizations have been working to create short-term resources that support healthcare workers efficiently and effectively. 

Studio Elsewhere is one organization that is creating a “serene oasis for healthcare workers” to de-stress, re-charge, and regulate during breaks from the clinic. Studio Elsewhere self-describes as a design and technology studio creating resilient environments which target the effects stress can have on cognitive performance. Their “re-charge rooms” feature immersive sensory experiences that mimic several relaxing natural environments. They were commissioned by the Mount Sinai hospital system during the pandemic to create areas where workers could take a quick break before returning to the stress of their work environment. A clinical study found that even a single 15-minute session in a re-charge room was able to significantly reduce the negative effects healthcare workers were previously facing. 

Being able to regulate stress means reducing risk for the serious impact of long-term burnout. We applaud efforts being made to support healthcare workers in this intense period of pressure. If you’re a healthcare worker, we encourage you to check your risk for burnout with the free, evidence-based Mayo Clinic Well being Index survey. We also recommend checking out this guide for combatting symptoms of healthcare burnout through building resilience. 

To learn more about how to incorporate a trauma-informed framework into a range of institutions, take a look at our training roadmap, which offers sector-specific trainings and resources for your convenience.
Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACEs)
Children’s mental health has been steadily worsening through the COVID-19 pandemic. A lack of resources and staff is causing state psychiatric facilities in Georgia and across the nation to become overwhelmed, leading to long admission wait times and a lack of care for those in crisis. To learn more, head over to this NBC news article. Despite a clear need for support, youth mental health can be really bewildering at times. Self-harming behavior is just one manifestation of struggling emotionally, but it can be especially distressing to those around the individual. This article discusses why people - especially adolescents - may choose to self-harm. In response to these trends, prominent pediatric healthcare organizations are now coming together to declare a National State of Emergency in Children’s Mental Health, calling on the government and other agencies to lend support to this fight. The White House recently released a fact sheet addressing the need for behavioral health support in communities.

As we work to address pre-existing mental health problems, we also want to support and highlight preventive work that is creating an upstream approach to resilience. American Academy of Pediatrics has many wonderful resources that fit into this category, including this clinician’s guide to Identifying Risks, Strengths, and Protective Factors for Children and Families as well as steps for referring families of children with developmental concerns to proper care facilities. Organizations such as Heads Up for Harry are working to increase awareness of mental health disorders by partnering with local schools in Atlanta. We love the Girls Empowering Movement (GEM), who offer fun physical activities to get girls moving and feeling their best inside out. Their recent newsletter highlights the awesome work they are doing for girls across Georgia. The Atlanta-based program Moving in the Spirit uses dance to promote social-emotional and cognitive development in childhood and adolescence. Their work is promoting health, resilience, and creativity for Georgia youth. Finally, we are grateful for work being done on a larger level to emphasize the importance of resilience and mental health, such as the Resilience For All Act of 2021.
COVID-19 Resources
  • This article from the AJC outlines why COVID death rates in rural Georgia are twice the rates of urban Georgia. Public health experts point to lower vaccination rates, worse access to healthcare, and an older population as some of the reasons for this. 

  • Children ages 5-11 are now widely eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. This segment addresses what this means for safety concerns, and why pediatricians are encouraging parents to get their kids vaccinated sooner rather than later. Alliance for a Healthier Generation is one organization working to keep kids up to date on vaccinations. Their toolkit can help answer parent’s questions about all types of vaccines.
Racial Equity Resources

  • "Sesame Street" is welcoming its first ever Asian American muppet. Ji-Young is 7, Korean American and loves to rock out on her guitar. The hope is that she will be a positive force against a rise in anti-Asian hate.

  • This toolkit outlines a number of strengths-based policies and programs that support Black families, particularly those with infants and toddlers. The toolkit may be especially useful for anyone working in healthcare or other human services positions. 

  • A lack of language and cultural competency from a behavioral health provider can lead to lower quality treatment, miscommunication, and frustration for both parties. It is essential that workforces employ providers that are able to provide care for patients of all origins. To learn more about how to make that possible, check out this article.
Be sure to read additional resources on the topics above, and more, here.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
-Brené Brown