Chief Sponsor: Edward H. Redd

Senate Sponsor: Todd Weiler

8     Cosponsors:
9     Patrice M. Arent
10     Joel K. Briscoe
11     Rebecca Chavez-Houck
12     Kay J. Christofferson
13     Brad M. Daw
14     Rebecca P. Edwards
15     Steve Eliason
Stephen G. Handy
Lynn N. Hemingway
Sandra Hollins
Ken Ivory
Brian S. King
Karen Kwan
Karianne Lisonbee
Carol Spackman Moss
Derrin R. Owens
Val K. Potter
Marie H. Poulson
Susan Pulsipher
Angela Romero
Raymond P. Ward
Elizabeth Weight
Mark A. Wheatley

18     General Description:
19          This concurrent resolution encourages state officers, agencies, and employees to
20     promote interventions and practices to identify and treat child and adult survivors of
21     severe emotional trauma and other adverse childhood experiences using interventions
22     proven to help and develop resiliency in these survivors.
23     Highlighted Provisions:
24          This resolution:
25          ▸     highlights recent advances in understanding the impact of adverse childhood
26     experiences on an individual's future outcomes;

27          ▸     encourages state officers, agencies, and employees to become informed regarding
28     well-documented detrimental short-term and long-term impacts to children and
29     adults from serious traumatic childhood experiences; and
30          ▸     encourages state officers, agencies, and employees to implement evidence-based
31     interventions and practices that are proven to be successful in developing resiliency
32     in children and adults currently suffering from trauma-related disorders.
33     Special Clauses:
34          None

36     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
37          WHEREAS, there have been recent significant advances in neuroscience with increased
38     understanding of how emotional neglect and exposure to serious trauma affect the way children
39     perceive and interact with their world both during childhood and into adulthood;
40          WHEREAS, post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related disorders in
41     children and adults can be caused both by exposure to a single severe traumatic incident or by
42     exposure to a cumulative series of serious traumatic events;
43          WHEREAS, such traumatic incidents and events include emotional and physical abuse
44     and neglect, sexual abuse, separation from or loss of a parent due to divorce or other reasons,
45     serious injury or death of a parent, exposure to family discord, domestic violence, parental
46     mental illness, substance abuse, criminal activity in the home, and other traumatic and
47     nonnurturing experiences and environments;
48          WHEREAS, abuse, neglect, and traumatic events compose part of what has been
49     described in the medical literature as "adverse childhood experiences" or "ACEs," and the
50     cumulative potential impact to a child who has a significant history of exposure to neglect and
51     trauma can be calculated using what is called an ACE score;
52          WHEREAS, it is now understood that significant exposure to severe traumatic events
53     as outlined above can negatively affect the neurobiology and anatomy of a child's developing

54     brain and result in a substantially impaired ability to absorb new information, develop healthy
55     coping skills, and adapt to life's challenges as the child becomes locked into a
56     "fight-flight-or-freeze" mode that becomes the child's and future adult's default approach when
57     interacting with the world around them;
58          WHEREAS, children and adults whose brains have been negatively affected by
59     exposure to severe or repeated serious trauma, often experience persistent and sometimes
60     overwhelming dysfunctional emotions of fear, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and anger,
61     and may exhibit socially inappropriate labile and aggressive behaviors, or may exhibit socially
62     inappropriate emotional detachment and avoidance behaviors;
63          WHEREAS, these negative coping behaviors and dysfunctional emotions limit a
64     person's capacity to form healthy stable relationships, foster social capital, learn from
65     experiences and mistakes, set and achieve short and long-term goals, and succeed in
66     educational and vocational pursuits;
67          WHEREAS, in addition to the above negative outcomes, children and adults are more
68     likely to attempt to self medicate trauma-related "fight-flight-or-freeze" anxiety and emotional
69     dysfunction by using available substances such as tobacco, alcohol, prescription medications,
70     and street drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and cannabis;
71          WHEREAS, because of the cumulative adverse effects of the above negative outcomes
72     on their physical health and emotional and cognitive capabilities, children and adults affected
73     by severe traumatic events, despite their sincere and best efforts to succeed in life, are more
74     likely to:
75          1. perform poorly in school and other academic pursuits;
76          2. struggle with work performance and sustainable employment;
77          3. become chronically unemployed as adults, resulting in financial stress, reduced
78     quality of life, and increased risk of experiencing long-term disability, homelessness, and other
79     personal and family traumatic experiences;
80          4. become dependent on and addicted to tobacco, alcohol, prescription medications,

81     illicit drugs, and other substances;
82          5. become directly engaged with law enforcement and the criminal justice system;
83          6. suffer from significant mental illness including depression, psychosis, and severe
84     anxiety leading to suicides and attempted suicides that otherwise would not have occurred;
85          7. suffer from serious physical health problems with poor long-term outcomes that
86     otherwise would not have occurred;
87          8. engage in high-risk sexual behaviors as adolescents and adults, including onset of
88     sexual activity at an early age and multiple sexual partners, resulting in increased risks of
89     adolescent pregnancy and paternity, other unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted
90     diseases;
91          9. experience significant problems and failures in marriage and other intimate partner
92     relationships;
93          10. become victims or perpetrators of intimate partner violence as adults;
94          11. struggle, despite their sincere efforts, to provide a stable and nurturing environment
95     for their current and future children, resulting in increased likelihood of intergenerational
96     trauma and intergenerational poverty; and
97          12. face a life expectancy shortened by as many as 20 years when compared to average
98     life expectancy for adults who did not experience severe trauma as children;
99          WHEREAS, with an increase in understanding about the impacts of trauma has come
100     the development of evidence-based questionnaires that identify behaviors and health-related
101     disorders in children and adults that can be indicative of possible trauma-related exposures;
102          WHEREAS, using these questionnaires can provide the opportunity to identify and
103     refer a child or adult for appropriate additional evaluation and treatment;
104          WHEREAS, the mental health profession can effectively diagnose and treat
105     trauma-related disorders following evidence-based approaches that have been proven to be
106     successful;
107          WHEREAS, one example of a well-studied, highly effective and widely available

108     therapy is trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy;
109          WHEREAS, early childhood offers an important window of elevated opportunity to
110     prevent, treat, and heal the impacts of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress on a
111     child's brain and body;
112          WHEREAS, a critical factor in buffering a child from the negative effects of toxic
113     stress and adverse childhood experiences is the existence of at least one stable, supportive
114     relationship between the child and a nurturing adult;
115          WHEREAS, with the increase in scientific understanding and ability to identify,
116     prevent, and treat trauma-related disorders, there is great hope for thousands of Utah children
117     and adults to begin healing from the negative effects of adverse childhood experiences, develop
118     resiliency, and have brighter, more productive futures than was previously possible; and
119          WHEREAS, in order to maximize the potential for positive outcomes of
120     evidence-based interventions in the treatment of severe trauma, it is imperative that employees
121     of the state of Utah and other people who interface directly with vulnerable children and adults
122     become informed regarding the effects of trauma on the human brain and available screening
123     and assessment tools and treatment interventions that lead to increased resiliency in children
124     and adults who struggle in life as the result of trauma-related disorders:
125          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
126     Governor concurring therein, encourages all officers, agencies, and employees of the state of
127     Utah whose responsibilities include working with vulnerable children and adults, such as the
128     Utah State Board of Education, the Utah Department of Human Services, the Department of
129     Workforce Services, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Utah Department of
130     Corrections, to:
131          1. become informed regarding well-documented detrimental short-term and long-term
132     impacts to children and adults from serious traumatic childhood experiences as outlined above;
133     and
134          2. implement evidence-based interventions and practices that are proven to be

135     successful in developing resiliency in children and adults currently suffering from
136     trauma-related disorders to help them recover from their trauma and function at their full
137     capacity and potential in school, the workplace, and community, family, and interpersonal
138     relationships.
139          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Utah Board
140     of Education, the Utah Department of Human Services, the Department of Workforce Services,
141     the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Utah Department of Corrections, and all political
142     subdivisions of the state of Utah.
143          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to all nonprofit
144     agencies and other entities that contract with the state of Utah to provide services to vulnerable
145     children and adults.