Resilience: The Biology Of Stress & The Science Of Hope screens for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Resilience: The Biology Of Stress & The Science Of Hope screens for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2019


As part of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week June 10-16 2019 (IMHAW) Tweddle will be hosting a special event and a screening of RESILIENCE: THE BIOLOGY OF STRESS & THE SCIENCE OF HOPE at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville on Thursday 13th June. The film chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction and disease.

RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary using beautiful animation and pioneering individuals, 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 behaviour.

While moderate, short-lived stress responses in the body can promote growth, unrelieved activation of a child’s stress management system in the absence of protective adult can create lifelong health issues as documented in The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Study.

This ground-breaking Study asked 17,500 adults about their history of exposure ACEs. These included physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; physical or emotional neglect; parental mental illness, substance dependence, incarceration; parental separation or divorce; or domestic violence. For every yes, you would get a point on your ACE score.

There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — racism, bullying, watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, involvement with the foster care system, involvement with the juvenile justice system, etc.

The evidence points to adverse childhood experiences or ACES impacting not only brain structure and function but the immune system, developing hormonal systems, DNA, and a range of adult health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, stroke, obesity, and some forms of cancer.

The first research results were published in 1998, followed by more than 70 other publications through to 2015. They showed that childhood trauma was very common, even in employed white middle-class, college-educated people with great health insurance. There was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as depression, suicide, being violent and a victim of violence, more types of trauma increased the risk of health, social and emotional problems.

The Harvard Centre on the Developing Child assert that policy and practice to solve some of society’s costliest health problems across the lifespan should concentrate on three key principles; supporting responsive relationships for children and adults, strengthening life skills and reducing sources of stress in the lives of children and families.

Especially during the first 1000 days, a parent’s ACEs may have an increased impact on a baby or toddler. During this time, caregivers are the essence of the baby’s world. Significant stress on parents during this period has more immediate consequences for the infant’s own developing stress response systems and overall development than they do at other stages in life.

It is assumed that infants and toddlers with mental health disorders will grow out of their symptoms despite evidence that shows symptoms that emerge early in life often persist into late phases of development.

Specialist residential services like Tweddle’s employ experienced clinicians who can identify signs of adult and child relational disruption, attachment disorders, trauma and mental illness in infants and parents. The therapeutic environment allows parents to open up to specialised health professionals.

Tweddle no longer ask ‘What is Wrong with you?’, instead asking ‘What happened to you?’ Difficult beginnings need to be gently unpacked by qualified staff.  For ACES to be understood, parents need support, follow up and links to community resources. The earlier the better. “The child may not remember, but the body remembers.”

Join Tweddle for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week for a screening of RESILIENCE: THE BIOLOGY OF STRESS AND THE SCIENCE OF HOPE and become part of a global movement to prevent childhood trauma, treat Toxic Stress, and greatly improve the health of future generations.


Date                    Thursday 13th June

Time                    4.15pm for a 4.30pm start – 6.30pm close

Place                   Sun Theatre – 8 Ballarat St, Yarraville

Tickets                $25 (plus booking fee) includes a glass of wine/champagne/beer/soft drink on arrival



Read more about Infant Mental Health Awareness Week here.


RESILIENCE: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope Sundance Review — Hollywood Reporter

Resilience Premieres at Sundance Film Festival to sold-out houses — ACES Too High

Resilience: Director Strives To Break The Cycle of Toxic Stress With His Film — Hollywood Life

Sundance Preview: James Redford’s Resilience — Sloan Science & Film

Sundance: James Redford on How We Should Measure Impact in Documentaries — IndieWire­taries-32490/

2016 Sundance Docs in Focus: RESILIENCE — What (Not) To Docs

Sundance: New Doc Explores How Toxic Stress Is Preventable — Hollywood Reporter

Redford Documentary Takes On Childhood Stress and Adult Behavior — The Daily Journal­havior/article_cd71de78-8f68-57e0-960e-a8062f1e7c14.html

RESILIENCE: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope —

Fanning The Flames of Awareness: James Redford On Resilience —

Documentary Sheds Light on Toxic Stress —

Every Movie Has A Lesson —­ience-the-biology-of-stress-and-science-of-hope/

Tweddle's screening of Resilience as part of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week
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