THE BIOLOGY OF STRESS AND SCIENCE OF HOPE
The San Francisco (CA) Chapter’s award-winning signature program SFLinksConnect: Building Healthy Communities Together raises awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), advocates for improved mental health practices, and supports families coping with toxic stress. The chapter launched the program in 2016 as an awareness and advocacy campaign and refined it over time to enhance intervention modalities (i.e. prenatal yoga) and engage public sector service organizations, e.g. SFUSD, SFPD, and the NAACP SF Chapter. The program won 1st place in the Health and Human Services category at both the 41st National Assembly in 2018 and the Western Area Conference in 2019.
Screenings of “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope,” a feature film, followed by mental health resource fairs and panel discussions with mental health and trauma informed practitioners are a focal point of the program. The chapter’s screenings have reached more than 900 attendees, including audiences at the Bayview Opera House 2017, NorcalMLK Jr Community Foundation Health Festival for MLK DAY 2018 and 2019, SFUSD Leadership 2019, AME Church,California Conference, Women’s Missionary Society Annual Convention 2019, and in partnership with the San Francisco Citywide Revival and Baptist Minister’s Conference 2019. Chapter Immediate Past President Valata Jenkins-Monroe PhD says, “Resilience” is “a must-see film that celebrates the power of medicine and chronicles the ongoing fight to save our community.”
PBS San Francisco KQED and PBS Idaho PTV will broadcast RESILIENCE: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope throughout the state of California and Idaho as a resource for mental health awareness week in October.
Both stations will follow the broadcast with panel discussions featuring experts from throughout the state. PBS San Francisco is partnering with The Links and will broadcast RESILIENCE on October 5th and PBS Idaho is partnering with Optum and their RESILIENCE broadcast will happen on October 7th. Click here for more details on the KQED screening.
KPJR FILMS has partnered with The San Francisco Links (SF Links) since 2017 when the organization screened RESILIENCE in the Bay View Community of San Francisco. They followed the screening with a discussion moderated by Links Member and Journalist, Belva Davis, including: James Redford, Film Director; Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, then Founder and Former CEO of the Center For Youth Wellness and current California Surgeon General and other mental health advocates.
[Photo: SF Links shown with Dr. Monique LeSarre, Executive Director from Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness who guided our community into a safe space following the viewing of the film and personal reactions to which they related to the content and reflection of trauma and toxic stress.]
"We need this (ACEs) training for our police officers.” – said Captain Yulanda Williams, San Francisco Police Department – SRO Program & President of Officers for Justice through the Peace Officers Association.
Post-screening discussion--online and off--is a crucial component of the chapter’s model and has been cited as a community engagement best practice by KPJR Films. Panels have been moderated by Alumna Link Belva Davis, an award-winning journalist; James Redford, ‘Resilience’ filmmaker and director; Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California State Surgeon General and Founder of Center for Youth Wellness; Link Lauren Waters Cherry, president of the United Administrators of Oakland Schools; and other mental health advocates. Audiences report increased knowledge of how to access resources that can support them in the healing process along with advocating for self and others. The chapter also promotes the content via social media through Twitter and YouTube, garnering more than 4,900 hits and counting, and have recently partnered with PBS (KQED) to air the film October 2019.
Watch Full Panel Discussion (35min) below.
Additionally, the chapter developed and delivered a Music Therapy Pilot in Fall 2016 to assist families dealing with ACEs and toxic stress with plans to launch more expressive arts sessions in 2020. The approach was developed with the Center for Youth Wellness clinical team, a board-certified music therapist, and a master percussionist, based on clinical and experimental research demonstrating its benefits for relaxation, communication, creative self-expression, psycho-physical activation, insight and emotional processing. Participants in the 6-week program reported stronger family cohesion and communication.
[LEFT] Master percussionist Tacuma King shows Dr. Nadine Burke Harris how to play authentic African instruments
[RIGHT] Songwriting – Angelica’s Song created by youngest music pilot participant (7-year-old)