The impact of trauma, neglect or abuse on a baby has a striking correlation to chronic disease, mental illness and other social problems in adults. This discovery unveils an important truth: Negative early experiences for children are not isolated family matters; they’re a public health issue.
The clinical work of Dr. Ayelet Talmi, a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, points to the lifelong impact of early childhood development. This body of work spurred collaboration among organizations, including Children’s Colorado, to align on a highly effective outreach strategy to promote health and well-being for young children and their families.
A key partner organization was nonprofit The Civic Canopy, which uses a community-learning model to drive transformational change through bringing together diverse partners. “When we were getting a myriad of people to come together to develop this shared messaging bank, it took Children’s Colorado coming to the table to make it happen,” says Stephanie Monahan, a director with Civic Canopy. “Given all we’ve learned about early childhood, toxic stress and the need to promote community resiliency, our ties and partnerships have grown even stronger.”
The Early Childhood Colorado Partnership (ECCP) unites over 600 cross-sector partners from all over the state in developing a shared message about the importance of mitigating toxic stress in early childhood development. This message has started critical dialogue on how a community can and needs to come together to ensure healthy development for their kids.