‘Message of Hope’ showcased at WellSpring town hall

Attendees at the WellSpring “Message of Hope” Town Hall in November stopped to check out a table sponsored by the Pacific County Youth Alliance.

PENINSULA — In November, WellSpring hosted its Town Hall “A Message of Hope.” Hosted at Hilltop Middle School, WellSpring debuted the first regional screening of the film Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope. Just under 100 community members were in attendance.

Resilience is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. 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. However, as experts and practitioners profiled in Resilience are proving, what’s predictable is preventable.

“The atmosphere was electric,” says coalition coordinator Vinessa Karnofski. “You could just see how excited people are to have this groundbreaking science that explains why emotional wounds can have huge consequences in our lives.”

Following the film, attendees enjoyed dinner and a scavenger hunt for resiliency practices hidden around the school. Those who completed the hunt were entered into a drawing for four prizes, including a home spa package and massage from Body Essence, a dinner for two at The Depot, two rounds of golf at Peninsula Golf Course, a one-month membership to Snap Fitness, and more.

Showing how hope grows on the Peninsula, 17 local organizations set up resource tables and were available to answer questions, sign up volunteers, and get people connected to services. Tables included youth-serving agencies such as Boys & Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters, and community organizations such as Timberland Regional Libraries.

“Our intention for this event was to show how much hope and help is available here. We have so many people here on the peninsula working to help families and youth,” says Carly Castaneda, WellSpring youth coordinator. “These kinds of concrete supports help combat the challenges that ACEs provide. It truly inspires me to see how people here rally to help their neighbors.”

Thank you to our partners Ocean Beach School District, Pacific County Health Department, Pacific County Resiliency Corps, and Boys & Girls Club. Many thanks to Willapa Behavioral Health for providing staff for a safe space room. Our thanks to KLEAN and The Lost Roo, who sponsored dinner for the event. Thank you to Peninsula Pharmacies, Body Essence, The Depot, Barbara Bate, Peninsula Golf Course, and Snap Fitness for providing much coveted prizes. This event would not have been possible without our dedicated members, volunteers, and staff.

To learn more about ACEs and resilience, visit www.wellspringpacific.org/resilience

Ready to be the change? Contact Vinessa at admin@wellspringpacific.org to join the WellSpring Resilience Collaborative (WRC).

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