Addressing toxic stress

Oct 10, 2016  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments


Sabrina Willis giving a presentation at the Healthy Start Epic Conference

The Magnolia Project is offering free presentations to local businesses, churches and organizations that would like to learn more about the life course, social determinant of health and toxic stress.  These presentations can be scheduled by contacting Sabrina Willis who is the freedom coach at the Magnolia Project.

Learning to adjust to adversity is an important part of healthy child development, according to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. There are three types of stress that impact the development of a child’s brain: positive stress, tolerable stress and toxic stress. These three types of stress refer to the stress response system’s effect on the body.

  • Positive stress is a normal part of healthy development and part of every child’s life. Examples of positive stress are a child’s first day of school, playing in a big game or giving a speech to a large audience. These are stresses that, once they are overcome, allow the child to feel relieved to have endured the stressful experience.
  • Tolerable stress relates to a greater degree of the brain’s development due to the more severe and longer-lasting difficulties such as an injury, losing a loved one or natural disasters. Buffering tolerable stresses with healthy relationships and positive support that can help the child adapt to the changes allows the brain and other organs to recover from what could have been damaging effects.
  • Toxic stress, which has the largest impact on brain development, is when a child experiences frequent adversity such as abuse, racism, neglect, socio economic hardship or having an alcoholic or depressed parent. Toxic stress can have long lasting impacts on a persons physical and mental health, causing chronic pulmonary lung disease, hepatitis, depression, suicide and preterm births.

The Magnolia Project is on a mission to negate the negative effects of toxic stress by educating the community and offering programs like “Yoga in the Streets” to individuals living in Health Zone One. The goal of “Yoga in the Streets” is to reduce hypertension and improve the mood in the communities where on-going stress is rampant.

Sabrina Willis is a strong advocate of using “Yoga in the Streets” as a means of reducing toxic stress in many Duval communities. Sabrina recently gave a presentation on the social determinants of health, life course and toxic stress at the Healthy Start EPIC Conference in Washington, D.C.

To schedule a toxic stress presentation contact Sabrina Willis:

904.353.2130 x1021

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