As readers to The Orkney News shall be aware we have been proud to offer our support to Resilience, a documentary  that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress.



It’s most recent screening was in Thurso on Saturday morning to which despite the travelling distances involved both local SNP MSP Maree Todd, Children’s Minister and Sally Amor, NHS Child Health Commissioner attended, here is what the organiser Kevin  Denvir had to say about the event.

On Saturday morning 68 people from across Caithness turned out at the Merlin Cinema, Thurso to view the acclaimed documentary Film Resilience. Resilience highlights the seminal research study carried out over 20 years ago into Adverse Childhood Experiences. It reveals the impact of “toxic stress” on the developing brains and bodies of children. The impact of this chronic activation of the human stress response, when left untreated, has been shown to increase the likelihood of many of the leading  health problems in our society today, from heart disease and cancer, to substance misuse, depression and even your chances of going to prison. The more adversity experienced, without the buffering effects of a nurturing and compassionate caregiver, the higher the risks for a whole range of negative health outcomes and an increased likelihood of early death.

Maree Todd MSP Childcare Minister attended along with Sally Amor, NHS Highland Child Health Commissioner to support what turned out to be a very engaging discussion about what ACEs mean for our area, our services and the health of our residents.

It was a credit to Caithness and Thurso to have around half the audience from education services (on a Saturday morning) and to experience the commitment of so many from the education service to getting it right for local children. It was also encouraging to have a local councillor, Karl Rosie, there as this information is essential for decision makers in Local Government.

Towards the end of the 2 hour event a personalised call from inspirational TEDx speaker Jaz Ampah-Farr left hardly a dry eye in the audience. She inspires “everyday heroes” throughout the world to keep doing the amazing work people who care for children do and how it makes a difference to children who hurt. How small actions done with compassion and commitment can literally change a life.

Thanks are extended to everyone who attended, the wonderful staff at Merlin Cinema and the Wavetrust 70-30 Campaign who all contributed to making this event a success.

The comments for the resilience film in Thurso!

  • Open channels into schools so that psychotherapists can help
  • Good information
  • Hopefully influence increases when I’m in employment (Student)
  • Yes, It is in everyone’s ability but teachers/mental health professionals are only humans, we ask to much of them. That’s why they leave the professions.
  • We don’t have much time to build relationships with individuals. (Children’s Panel Member)
  • Extremely inspiring film and ted-talk. thank you
  • Less paper work and more time to spend with the children (Teacher)
  • Would love to see this film on offer on the in-service training day, Highland Council to fund. Or initially at a Head Teachers conference to raise awareness. (Depute HT)
  • Please help us to do the job we love.
  • Educate parents awareness

Introduce self help groups

Funding issues

  • As a teacher I feel I already do this “The Hero” This is not new, There is not enough support for our child care that is wider than education i.e Family support and Mental health.
  • I am a Grandparent of 2 children who have experienced severe trauma
  • Reminded me that we can always make a difference no matter how little that effort or gesture seems to us
  • Thank you so much for bringing Resilience to Caithness.
  • I believe in a power of collective consciousness and we can make a change
  • Can this documentary be screened on national Television?
  • Very thought provoking and I will be more mindful of my own ability to be a hero Thank you
  • Great to see this type of screening at a local level
  • I don’t think I know a teacher who isn’t trying to be a hero for someone
  • informative and moving videos that are thought provoking. Personally I feel that you help to build rapport with the kids that you teach and that helps make a difference
  • I know I can have an impact but I think we could have a Huge impact with national interactions

After the documentary film Resilience, the audience were asked to rate how much influence they felt they had individually to make a difference on a scale of 1-10. After the TEDx talk by Jaz Ampah Farr “The power of Everyday Heroes” they were asked again. The feeling of personal influence increased by a over 55%.


Previous reports and articles related to Resilience

Resilience Review St Margarets Hope

Resilience Review Kirkwall

Home-Start Orkney

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