The predominant approach to dealing with trauma in the US is through the expansion of mental health services and the adoption of trauma-informed care, both of which focus largely on individuals. Prevention Institute's Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience (ACE|R) Framework explains the need to understand trauma at the population level. It is the first framework of its kind to advance an understanding of community trauma and what to do about it.

Since PI released the framework in 2016, it has been implemented in communities throughout the country and incorporated into efforts to address violence, mental health and wellbeing, opioid misuse, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and climate resilience.

Projects & Initiatives

PI works with a breadth of partners and communities to develop strategies and practices to keep people healthy and safe in the first place. Below is a selection of ongoing or recent projects.

  • Communities of Care

    Communities of Care is an initiative that supports collaborative approaches to wellbeing in the greater Houston Metropolitan Area, with a focus on children and youth of color and their families. Its goal is to strengthen efforts to transform the environments where people live, learn, work, play, and pray to support resilience, mental health, and wellbeing.

  • California Funders Workgroup for Prevention and Equity

    PI provides technical assistance and policy analysis to this California funders workgroup: Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund, and Well Being Trust. The group is working to articulate a shared vision for community prevention and health equity, identify and support community priorities, and invest in strategies to close gaps in health and safety.

Publications

We research and write reports, white papers, fact sheets, opinion pieces, and journal articles, as well as produce videos and podcasts. Here are some of our latest offerings.

  • Beyond Screening: Achieving California's Bold Goal of Reducing Exposure to Childhood Trauma

    California’s state government can play a vital role in facilitating and supporting efforts to improve community-wide health, safety, and wellbeing, by reducing exposure to trauma, and increasing individual and community resilience. This report explores prevention and healing approaches that strengthen mental health and wellbeing, support communities to heal from trauma, and build community resilience. 

  • What? Why? How? Answers to FAQ's about the ACE|R Framework

    What? Why? How? Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Framework builds off of core concepts in the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Framework and addresses questions that have emerged in early practice and implementation.

  • Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: Learning from Practice

    Since the initial development of the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Framework in 2016, multiple networks and communities have shared it, as well as adopted, adapted and/or implemented it to address and prevent community trauma. Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: Learning from Practice reflects valuable lessons from their practice.

  • Milwaukee Blueprint for Peace

    Milwaukee Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention engaged Prevention Institute to help facilitate the development of the Blueprint grounded in PI’s Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience (ACE|R) framework. The Blueprint for Peace draws on community assets and best practices to focus on preventing violence before it occurs, as well as intervention efforts to ameliorate the impacts of violence and prevent future perpetration and victimization.

  • Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

    This first-of-its-kind framework explores trauma at a community level. It explains how trauma is produced not only by experiencing interpersonal violence but also by experiencing structural violence – the harm that individuals, families, and communities experience from the economic and social structure; social institutions; and social relations of power, privilege and inequity that inhibit them from meeting their basic needs.

  • Minimizing the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences through a Focus on Adverse Community Experiences

    Adverse community experiences – such as concentrated poverty, segregation from opportunity, and community violence – contribute to community trauma, which can exacerbate adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). This brief explains the relationship between ACEs and adverse community experiences, thus making the case for focusing on preventing and addressing trauma at the community level, in addition to the growing focus on individual trauma. It also provides examples of emerging strategies to address community trauma and build community resilience.

Tools & Services

We have developed a broad range of practical, free-to-use tools to guide practitioners, advocates, and policymakers in planning and implementing  prevention strategies. We also provide services to help you use our tools to create healthy and safe communities.

  • Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

    This first-of-its-kind framework explores trauma at a community level. It explains how trauma is produced not only by experiencing interpersonal violence but also by experiencing structural violence – the harm that individuals, families, and communities experience from the economic and social structure; social institutions; and social relations of power, privilege and inequity that inhibit them from meeting their basic needs.

  • What? Why? How? Answers to FAQ's about the ACE|R Framework

    What? Why? How? Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Framework builds off of core concepts in the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Framework and addresses questions that have emerged in early practice and implementation.

  • Making Connections Backpack

    The Making Connections Backpack is a resource library for those engaged in building a gendered and community-level approach to improving mental wellbeing among men and boys. It offers tools to shape your journey, and connect with others engaged in or supporting similar upstream prevention work. 

Profiles in Action

These profiles, written by PI and our partners, show what community prevention looks like on the ground, all across the country.

  • Milwaukee ACE|R Profile

    In November 2017, Milwaukee released its Blueprint for Peace. Grounded in the Framework, the Blueprint identifies forms of violence and structural violence and draws on community assets and best practices to focus on preventing violence, as well as intervention efforts to ameliorate the impacts of violence and prevent future perpetration and victimization. 

  • Ohio ACE|R Profile

    Ohio’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is utilizing the Framework to drive its statewide opioid prevention efforts and strategy in partnership with 12 communities. They are specifically using ACE|R to build trauma-informed coalitions and identify drivers of substance misuse.

  • San Jose ACE|R profile

    As one of eight communities in the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative, the East San Jose Peace Partnership has used ACE|R as its overarching framework. This emphasis has helped the project to remain focused on community level change strategies and provided a structure for expanding its focus to address multiple forms of violence.

  • San Diego ACE|R profile

    In City Heights in San Diego, CA, United Women of East Africa Support Team is addressing community trauma and building resilience in East African men and boys, using ACE|R as the organizing framework for their assessment, planning, and implementation efforts.

  • SF BRIDGE Housing ACE|R profile

    Bridge Housing has advanced the notion of Trauma Informed Community Building and improved outcomes for people living in public housing through implementing strategies to address and prevent community trauma.