Virtual workshops to be held

Published 6:17 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2022

BeWellVA, a collaboration of Central Virginia’s seven Community Services Boards, is offering free virtual workshops to raise awareness about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), provide resources to help children and adults who have experienced ACEs and offer strategies for prevention in our communities.

Experiencing distress or a disturbing event is called trauma. ACEs are traumatic events in childhood that include abuse, neglect or household dysfunction. Children and adults who have experienced ACEs are at a higher risk of having long-term health problems, experiencing mental illness and abusing drugs or alcohol. They also may have feelings of shame and guilt, have trouble controlling their emotions and have difficulty connecting with others. Studies show that at least 67% of the population has one ACE.

“Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences” workshops are open to all but are particularly valuable for young adults; military personnel, veterans and their families; early childhood educators; the faith community; and residential services providers. During these dynamic, interactive workshops, participants will learn how our brains work, how negative childhood experiences affect us and how to identify and prevent ACEs. They also will learn strategies to build resilience for a happier and more fulfilling life.

“Quite often people don’t realize how their childhood experiences impact their adult life,” said Charlene Edwards, Prevention Services Manager at Richmond Behavioral Health Authority. “These workshops are designed to help people understand what ACEs are and how they can potentially impact their behaviors. More importantly, they can help people who have, care for, or work with children understand how their actions may impact a child”

The first of four virtual workshops is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. Three additional workshops are scheduled for July 21, Oct. 20 and Jan. 19, 2023. There is no cost to attend but registration is required. For more details and to register visit https://richmondbehavioralhealthauthority.wildapricot.org/.