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Second event added to documentary, public forum on mental health

Enid News & Eagle - 2/8/2019

Feb. 08--ENID, Okla. -- United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma has added a second showing and public conversation Monday of a documentary on mental health issues in the community.

"Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope" will be shown, followed by a public forum discussion, 6:30-8 p.m. Monday in the lecture hall at Autry Technology Center.

Dan Schiedel, CEO and executive director of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma, said an earlier showing and discussion at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday already has attracted 150 RSVPs, and is at capacity. The evening event has been added to meet public demand, Schiedel said.

"Resilience" examines traumatic childhood events and how those events adversely affect adult health and social outcomes, causing greater risk for disease, homelessness, incarceration and early death.

According to the documentary's website, the film "delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress."

"Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior," the "Resilience" website stated. "However, as experts and practitioners profiled in 'Resilience' are proving, what's predictable is preventable. These physicians, educators, social workers and communities are daring to talk about the effects of divorce, abuse and neglect."

Schiedel said the "Resilience" showings and public forums have been made possible in part by an incentive grant from the Potts Family Foundation, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit that aims to "address root causes of early childhood neglect (emotional, physical, and mental) by supporting proven solutions through early childhood initiatives," according to the foundation website.

Potts Family Foundation CEO Craig Knutson will facilitate the panel discussion at both sessions Monday.

A community resource fair, featuring United Way partner agencies, also will be available in the lecture hall from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.

Schiedel said the entire event is meant to foster community discussion and action toward preventing adverse outcomes for community children.

"As one of our primary tenets we focus on education, health and financial stability," Schiedel said, "and at the root of that is our children, our next generation, and the next generation of our work force."

Schiedel said community focus, conversation and partnerships are needed to identify and prevent adverse outcomes from childhood abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences.

"If we can reach kids early, and prevent some of those negative outcomes, then we're doing our part as a united front through the United Way partner agencies," Schiedel said. "We want to address those issues early, so maybe there will be fewer problems in our community our agencies will have to deal with in the future."

For information or to see a trailer of the documentary "Resilience," go


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