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2    WHEREAS, Research over the last two decades in the
3evolving fields of neuroscience, brain science, molecular
4biology, public health, genomics, and epigenetics reveals that
5experiences in the first few years of life build changes into
6the biology of the human body, including the architecture of
7the brain; and
8    WHEREAS, Brain growth occurs rapidly in the first three
9years of a child's life and accelerates over the next ten
10years, slowing during the early twenties; a child's brain and
11body development can be impaired by certain environmental
12conditions, influencing the person's physical and mental
13health and social outcomes over their life span; and
14    WHEREAS, Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are
15traumatic experiences occurring during childhood that have
16been found to have a profound effect on a child's developing
17brain structure and body and may result in poor health during
18the person's adulthood; ACEs can be physical, emotional, or
19sexual abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, including
20caregiver substance abuse, untreated mental illness or
21incarceration, domestic violence, youth experiencing
22homelessness, or separation or divorce involving household
23members; and



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1    WHEREAS, Experiencing ACEs as well as experiencing intense
2and prolonged stress, like community violence, without
3positive influences or nurturing relationships during
4childhood can become known as toxic stress, which can further
5affect a child's brain development and function and lead to
6long-term cognitive and health impairments; and
7    WHEREAS, ACEs studies have also found a strong correlation
8between the number of ACEs and a person's risk for disease and
9negative health behaviors, including suicide, depression,
10cancer, stroke, ischemic heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune
11disease, smoking, substance abuse, interpersonal violence,
12obesity, unplanned pregnancies, lower educational achievement,
13workplace absenteeism, and lower wages; and
14    WHEREAS, Findings from the Illinois 2013 Behavioral Risk
15Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) supported by the Illinois
16ACEs Response Collaborative found that almost 60% of
17non-institutionalized adult Illinoisans reported having at
18least one ACE; this number equates to almost 5 million
19Illinois residents; 14.2% of Illinois adults reported four or
20more ACEs; and
21    WHEREAS, BRFSS data also showed that approximately 20% of
22African American and Hispanic adults in Illinois reported four



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1or more ACEs, compared to 13% of non-Hispanic whites; and
2    WHEREAS, The Illinois 2013 BRFSS also found that 43% of
3women and 48% of men reported having one to three ACEs; 15% of
4women and 13% men reported experiencing four or more ACEs; and
5    WHEREAS, BRFSS data showed that individuals with between 1
6and 3 ACEs reported their physical health was not good 12% more
7often and their mental health was not good 44% more often than
8individuals with no ACEs; individuals with more than 4 ACEs
9reported their physical health was not good 65% more often and
10their mental health was not good 176% more often than
11individuals with no ACEs; and
12    WHEREAS, Individuals with six or more ACEs were found, on
13average, to live 20 years less than those individuals with
14zero ACEs; and
15    WHEREAS, Among those who misuse opioids, the individuals
16most likely to experience problems with addiction are those
17who suffered ACEs; general population surveys have estimated
18that 75% of individuals with substance use disorders have
19experienced trauma early in their lives; rates are even higher
20among populations seeking treatment for opioid addiction; and
21    WHEREAS, ACEs appear to be a root cause of many of our most



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1challenging health and social problems and, without adequate
2family intervention and support, appear to be transmitted from
3one generation to the next, further exacerbating the poor
4outcomes from ACEs and toxic stress; and
5    WHEREAS, It is less disruptive to well-being, less costly,
6and more effective to positively influence the development of
7a child's brain than to intervene and correct negative
8experiences and outcomes later in life; and
9    WHEREAS, Trauma-informed care is an approach that can
10bring greater understanding and more effective ways to
11prevent, identify, and support and serve children, adults,
12families, and communities affected by ACEs, trauma, adversity,
13and toxic stress; and
14    WHEREAS, Trauma-informed care is not a therapy or an
15intervention; it is a principle-based, culture change process
16aimed at recognizing strengths and resiliency and helping
17people who have experienced trauma to overcome those issues in
18order to achieve personal and economic well-being; and
19    WHEREAS, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
20Administration and many other agencies and organizations
21provide substantial resources to better engage individuals,
22community-based organizations, and communities across the



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1United States in order to implement trauma-informed care; and
2    WHEREAS, A trauma-informed Illinois enhances the ability
3of children and adults to adapt, cope, and thrive despite
4difficult experiences and supports the mental well-being of
5everyone in our state; therefore, be it
8we acknowledge that toxic stress and adverse childhood
9experiences can have significantly negative short-term,
10long-term, and generational impacts, and that early
11interventions through trauma-informed care is the most
12efficient and cost effective way to combat these impacts; and
13be it further
14    RESOLVED, That the Illinois General Assembly is urged to
15seek out opportunities to enhance legislation through the
16science of resiliency and a trauma informed lens and funding
17around early intervention services for children and families
18that centers the principles of brain development, the intimate
19connection between mental and physical health, and the
20concepts of toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences;
21and be it further
22    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be



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1delivered to the Governor, the House Speaker, the Senate
2President, the House Majority Leader, the House Minority
3Leader, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority
4Leader, and the Illinois Interagency Council on Early