• Jennifer Rhoad

Roots of Resilience

Updated: Jul 14

Building Resilience is Our Responsibility

Youth in our community have tremendous potential and we all benefit when this potential is realized. The Smithville CIA is excited to partner with individuals, organizations, and various sectors of our community to ensure that our actions support youth resilience and mental health. When we are intentional, and work together, we can ensure that ALL kids have the opportunity to thrive.


Supporting Healthy Brain Development in the Face of Adversity

As children grow up, their brain continues to grow, building a foundation for the way they interact and engage with the world. Early childhood through adolescence is a great time for children to learn all sorts of things, including how to respond to adversity or stress.


When stress is time-limited and the child has adequate adult support, the brain and body respond appropriately and the impact of the stress is healthy and formative. On the other hand, chronic and ongoing adversity, in the absence of stable and reliable adult support, is called toxic stress. Toxic stress floods the body with dangerous levels of hormones. When children experience more toxic stress, the likelihood of health problems, substance use, and mental health disorders are more likely to occur down the road.

The best way to support healthy brain development in the face of adversity is to reduce the exposure of young children to toxic stress or/and build the buffers of support around youth experiencing toxic stress. We call these buffers RESILIENCE. There is tremendous power, and obligation, for all of us to ensure that youth are buffered from adversity.




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