Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0004
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Full Text of HR0004  102nd General Assembly




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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, or separation or divorce
22involving household members; 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
23or more ACEs, compared to 13% of non-Hispanic whites; and



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1    WHEREAS, The Illinois 2013 BRFSS also found that 43% of
2women and 48% of men reported having one to three ACEs; 15% of
3women and 13% men reported experiencing four or more ACEs; and
4    WHEREAS, BRFSS data showed that individuals with between 1
5and 3 ACEs reported their physical health was not good 12% more
6often and their mental health was not good 44% more often than
7individuals with no ACEs; individuals with more than 4 ACEs
8reported their physical health was not good 65% more often and
9their mental health was not good 176% more often than
10individuals with no ACEs; and
11    WHEREAS, Individuals with six or more ACEs were found, on
12average, to live 20 years less than those individuals with
13zero ACEs; and
14    WHEREAS, Among those who misuse opioids, the individuals
15most likely to experience problems with addiction are those
16who suffered ACEs; general population surveys have estimated
17that 75% of individuals with substance use disorders have
18experienced trauma early in their lives; rates are even higher
19among populations seeking treatment for opioid addiction; and
20    WHEREAS, ACEs appear to be a root cause of many of our most
21challenging health and social problems and, without adequate



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1family intervention and support, appear to be transmitted from
2one generation to the next, further exacerbating the poor
3outcomes from ACEs and toxic stress; and
4    WHEREAS, It is less disruptive to well-being, less costly,
5and more effective to positively influence the development of
6a child's brain than to intervene and correct negative
7experiences and outcomes later in life; and
8    WHEREAS, Trauma-informed care is an approach that can
9bring greater understanding and more effective ways to
10prevent, identify, and support and serve children, adults,
11families, and communities affected by ACEs, trauma, adversity,
12and toxic stress; and
13    WHEREAS, Trauma-informed care is not a therapy or an
14intervention; it is a principle-based, culture change process
15aimed at recognizing strengths and resiliency and helping
16people who have experienced trauma to overcome those issues in
17order to achieve personal and economic well-being; and
18    WHEREAS, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
19Administration and many other agencies and organizations
20provide substantial resources to better engage individuals,
21community-based organizations, and communities across the
22United States in order to implement trauma-informed care; and



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1    WHEREAS, A trauma-informed Illinois enhances the ability
2of children and adults to adapt, cope, and thrive despite
3difficult experiences and supports the mental well-being of
4everyone in our state; therefore, be it
7we acknowledge that toxic stress and adverse childhood
8experiences can have significantly negative short-term,
9long-term, and generational impacts, and that early
10interventions through trauma-informed care is the most
11efficient and cost effective way to combat these impacts; and
12be it further
13    RESOLVED, That the Illinois General Assembly is urged to
14seek out opportunities to enhance legislation through the
15science of resiliency and a trauma informed lens and funding
16around early intervention services for children and families
17that centers the principles of brain development, the intimate
18connection between mental and physical health, and the
19concepts of toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences;
20and be it further
21    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
22delivered to the Governor, the House Speaker, the Senate



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1President, the House Majority Leader, the House Minority
2Leader, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority
3Leader, and the Illinois Interagency Council on Early