Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0212
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Full Text of HR0212  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Building an Illinois that can thrive now and in
3the future requires a steady commitment to supporting the
4physical, mental, and emotional well-being of all of the
5State's residents; and
6    WHEREAS, Equitable strategies are needed to ensure that
7all residents have the supports at home and in their
8communities that build a well-being, buffer against negative
9experiences, foster resilience, and make it possible to
10thrive; and
11    WHEREAS, Trauma, which may include adverse childhood
12experiences and other experiences across the life-course,
13disrupts health and well-being, making it more difficult for
14people to reach their potential and participate fully in their
15communities; and
16    WHEREAS, The landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
17Study identified a profound connection between poor health
18during a person's adulthood and ACEs, which include physical,
19emotional, and sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect,
20and household stressors such as domestic violence, separation
21or divorce involving household members, substance abuse,
22untreated mental illness, or incarceration of a household



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1member; and
2    WHEREAS, ACEs studies have also found a strong correlation
3between the number of ACEs and a person's risk for health and
4social outcomes that include cancer, cardiovascular disease,
5diabetes, smoking, substance abuse, depression, obesity,
6unplanned pregnancies, low birth weight, suicide attempts,
7workplace absenteeism, unemployment, lower educational
8achievement, and lower wages; and
9    WHEREAS, Individuals with six or more ACEs are at risk, on
10average, to live 20 years less than those individuals with
11zero ACEs; and
12    WHEREAS, Findings from the Illinois 2017 Behavioral Risk
13Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) Illinois ACEs Response
14Collaborative found that almost 60% of non-institutionalized
15adults in Illinois say they had at least one ACE; this number
16equates to almost five million Illinois residents;
17approximately 16% of Illinois adults reported four or more
18ACEs; and
19    WHEREAS, BRFSS data also showed that approximately 20% of
20African American adults in Illinois report four or more ACEs,
21compared to 15% of white residents; and



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1    WHEREAS, ACEs are not the only potentially traumatic
2experiences that can influence health across the lifespan;
3extensive research demonstrates that community experiences
4such as gun violence, lack of educational or economic
5opportunities, poor or unaffordable housing, and lack of
6community cohesion can have the same detrimental effects on
7later health outcomes in individuals as ACEs; and
8    WHEREAS, These adverse community experiences are the
9result of historical traumas, such as slavery and genocides,
10and subsequent systemic inequities and oppression, such as
11racism; racism, which can include power inequalities,
12prejudices, stereotypes, discrimination, beliefs, and a
13systemic lack of access to essential supports including
14healthcare, has been directly linked to reduced physical and
15mental health in communities and individuals; and
16    WHEREAS, As a result of these historical traumas and
17subsequent systemic inequities, Black and Latinx residents in
18Illinois are more likely to live in neighborhoods with
19restricted access to essential resources such as education and
20economic opportunities, healthy food choices, safe and
21affordable housing, and behavioral and physical healthcare;
22like adverse childhood experience, these have all been linked
23to health and social outcomes that include reduced life
24expectancy, higher rates of infant and maternal mortality,



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1high rates of asthma, higher rates of lead poisoning, and
2higher vulnerabilities to public health pandemics, including
3COVID-19; and
4    WHEREAS, These health inequities have been compounded and
5exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has
6disproportionately affected Black and Latinx communities in
7Illinois; Black and Latinx residents are more likely to
8contract and more likely to die from the disease than white
9residents; Black and Latinx Americans are also significantly
10more likely to have COVID-19 be a "major threat to their
11general health and well-being" than the overall population;
13    WHEREAS, Immigrant and refugee populations have been under
14the additional strain of stigmatizing rhetoric and an
15immigration system that fosters fear, mistrust, isolation, and
16injustice; and
17    WHEREAS, Robust research demonstrates that positive
18supports and experiences, such as stable and nurturing
19relationships and equitable access to food, housing, health
20care, financial resources, and other fundamentals of lifelong
21health and well-being can buffer against the effects of
22adversity and build resilience; and



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1    WHEREAS, Resilience, the capacity to adapt and thrive in
2the face of adversity through strengths-based methods, can be
3built in individuals throughout the lifespan through
4trauma-informed, healing-centered care principles and
5practices such as trustworthiness and reliability,
6establishing physical and emotional safety, and providing
7opportunities for empowered decision-making; and
8    WHEREAS, Trauma-informed, healing-centered care is not a
9therapy or an intervention but is a principle-based, culture
10change process aimed at recognizing strengths and resiliency
11as well as helping people who have experienced trauma heal;
13    WHEREAS, Healthy and thriving communities are also
14fostered through these same trauma-informed, healing-centered,
15resilience-building principles; and
16    WHEREAS, It has been shown to be cost effective and
17sustainable to build programs and policies that foster
18positive experiences and are dedicated to the prevention and
19mitigation of traumatic experiences and their potential
20effects on physical and mental well-being and health,
21particularly in childhood; and
22    WHEREAS, This can be seen in allocated resources, as well



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1as the creation of policies that acknowledge trauma and its
2effects on the health of individuals and communities, and how
3historical and contemporary systemic oppression may lead to
4potentially traumatic events such as adverse childhood
5experiences and adverse community experiences; and
6    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois has previously recognized
7the impact of ACEs on its residents' health and how
8trauma-informed, healing-centered principles, policies, and
9practices can prevent and mitigate the adverse health outcomes
10associated with trauma, such as Trauma-Informed Awareness Day
11in 2019, the passage of the Children of Incarcerated Parents
12Bill of Rights, and the creation of the Whole Child Task Force
13introduced by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, as well
14as local resolutions recognizing Trauma-Informed Awareness Day
15in communities such as Winnebago County and the City of
16Chicago; and
17    WHEREAS, These same trauma-informed, healing-centered
18principles, policies, and practices must also recognize the
19detrimental effect that systemic oppressions such as racism
20can have on the health of individuals and communities and how
21these are, in fact, traumatic experiences with the same
22potential adverse health outcomes as ACEs; and
23    WHEREAS, The COVID-19 pandemic has made these systemic



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1inequities more apparent and impactful, and a comprehensive
2response must recognize the role of racism and other
3oppressions in contraction of the disease, patient outcomes,
4and vaccine and treatment distribution; and
5    WHEREAS, The State's commitment to the support of a
6trauma-informed Illinois must be expanded to include
7recognition of the role that systemic policies and oppression
8have played in the creation and impact of trauma and
9communities; and
10    WHEREAS, This recognition must include a racially-just and
11healing-centered approach with an acknowledgment of the
12additional potential burden of trauma faced by Black and
13Latinx residents in Illinois and the United States; and
14    WHEREAS, The inclusion of recognizing the issue of
15systemic oppression and its impact on the creation of
16historical, community, and individual trauma will allow for a
17more thorough and effective response to reduce and eliminate
18health disparities in Illinois; and
19    WHEREAS, A trauma-informed, healing-centered Illinois can
20work to dismantle these systemic inequities and address the
21effects of racism and poverty, while working to prevent
22continued disparities; and



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1    WHEREAS, This expanded definition of a trauma-informed,
2healing-centered Illinois enhances the ability of individuals
3and communities to adapt, cope, and thrive, including during
4difficult times, supporting the physical and mental well-being
5of everyone in Illinois; therefore, be it
8we declare May 25, 2021 as Trauma-Informed Awareness Day in
9Illinois to highlight the impact of trauma and the importance
10of prevention of adversity and fostering individual and
11community resilience through trauma-informed,
12healing-centered care; and be it further
13    RESOLVED, That we encourage all officers, agencies, and
14employees of the State of Illinois whose responsibilities
15include individuals throughout the life course and
16communities, including the Office of the Governor, the State
17Board of Education, the Department of Human Services, the
18Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of
19Public Health, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and
20Department of Corrections to become informed regarding
21well-documented, short-term, long-term, and
22multi-generational impacts of adverse childhood experiences,
23toxic stress, systemic racism, and other potentially traumatic



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1experiences for children, adults, and communities and to
2become aware of and implement evidence-based and
3racially-just, trauma-informed, healing-centered care
4practices, tools, and interventions that promote positive
5experiences and racial justice to build resilience in
6individuals and communities so that they will be able to
7maximize their well-being and thrive.