Oklahoma's First Lady Stitt to provide resilience workshop at Northwestern

January 29, 2020

Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope

Oklahoma's First Lady Sarah StittAlva and Northwestern Oklahoma State University will play host to Oklahoma’s First Lady Sarah Stitt on Feb. 13 at an event designed to educate community members about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).  Stitt and her office have joined forces with the Potts Family Foundation, Northwestern and Northwest Family Services to present a film screening and panel discussion on this important topic.

The documentary film “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope” will be shown at 11 a.m. in the Student Center Ballroom followed by a panel that will include Charita McOsker, LPC, program manager for Northwest Center for Behavioral Health; Taylor Randolph, NCC, LPC, LADC, instructor of psychology at Northwestern; Amber Maier, LPC, foster care director for Northwest Family Services; Sarah Sherman, MCP, LPC, LADC, director of outpatient services at Northwest Center for Behavioral Health; and Dr. Chan Hellman, director of the Hope Research Center at OU-Tulsa. The panel will be moderated by the First Lady and is the fourth stop on her Raising Resilient Oklahomans Hope Rising Tour. The first hour will focus on the film and the second hour will feature the panel discussion.

According to a release, “the greatest public health discovery of our time” revolves around these ACEs and the “toxic stress it produces” and how it impacts communities by “increasing the risk of mental health challenges and chronic health conditions later in life.” Oklahoma brings in an ACEs rate of 28.5 percent as compared to the national rate of 20.5 percent.

“The child may not remember, but the body remembers. Your mental health is inseparable from your physical health. This one-hour documentary delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior,” states information from the event. “Oklahoma’s high rate of ACEs will require a long term effort to build resilience and promote hope.” 

After the documentary screening, Stitt will then moderate a panel of experts who will use the time to speak about what can be done and what is already being done to help mitigate childhood trauma. Discussions will also include how communities can rally to help the issue.

This event is not only educational but is a call to action for community members to ask how can Oklahomans integrate the science of hope and resilience into the state’s systems, communities, homes and lives.

The free event requires registration and will include refreshments. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resilience-screening-hope-rising-tour-with-first-lady-sarah-stitt-tickets-89134755453.

For more information, contact Kelsey Martin, director of marketing and university relations at Northwestern, at (580) 327-8478 or kamartin@nwosu.edu


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