Given the devastating consequences of child maltreatment, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognize child abuse and neglect as a major public health crisis (CDC, 2010, 2012; Fang et al., 2012; Putnam-Hornstein et al., 2011; WHO, 2013). In addition, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente conducted a retrospective analysis of over 17,000 participants (1998), finding that four or more adverse childhood experiences had long term consequences affecting the adult onset of medical conditions, mental health disorders, and substance use. This presentation allows public health practitioners in Ontario to better understand how toxic stress disrupts development and ultimately leads to poor health outcomes. What is often unknown is that frequent or chronic dysregulation of one’s autonomic nervous system (ANS) is an underlying culprit, creating long-term wear and tear on bodily and mental processes. This presentation defines and identifies adaptive and toxic stress through biobehavioral markers and physiological indices. Innovative approaches to reduce or eliminate toxic stress using wearable sensors and a phone tracking device are also examined.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
• Identify that the stress and stress recovery system is grounded in the concept of allostasis
• Describe the four awake states of arousal with their biobehavioral markers
• Explain the four different types of toxic stress patterns grounded in the concept of allostatic load
Presented By: Dr. Connie Lillas
Connie Lillas, PhD, MFT, RN is the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the NeuroRelational Framework Global Communities with a background in high-risk maternal-child nursing, family systems, developmental psychoanalysis, and is a National Graduate ZERO TO THREE Fellow. She trains communities locally, nationally, and internationally on the Neurorelational Framework (NRF, 2009) based upon her co-authored book —Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies: A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice, which is a part of W. W. Norton’s Interpersonal Neurobiology Series. She is currently involved in early innovative research that studies toxic stress patterns in parents and children using wearable sensors and phone technology.
The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
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