March 21, 2017
For Immediate Release
Jefferson County Public Health
Chimacum Prevention Coalition
in Partnership with Jefferson County Library and
Port Townsend Film Festival
to Host Film Drawing the Tiger with Director Amy Benson
(Port Townsend, WA) – The public is invited Monday, April 10, 5:30 – 8:00, at the Jefferson County Library, 620 Cedar, Port Hadlock, to a free screening and discussion, led by film director Amy Benson, of the film Drawing the Tiger, which is a featured film in the PTFF Women and Film weekend. This presentation is sponsored by the Chimacum Prevention Coalition (CPD), the Jefferson County Library, the Port Townsend Film Festival (PTFF), and the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery.
Benson’s film asks viewers to reflect on how young people can be supported as they build foundations for healthy, happy lives, and prepare for their futures. It asks us to look at issues of extreme poverty and the pressures that places on young people to be successful in an increasingly competitive world. Additionally, the film asks us to think about intrinsic resilience; how we can help young people cope with external pressures. The evening will provide an opportunity to apply, analyze, and synthesize the themes the film presents.
According to Denise Banker, Chimacum Prevention Coalition Coordinator, “[W]hen young people feel unsupported and alienated, or when they feel they’re the family’s only hope, it creates a lot of stress and pressure that can easily manifest a variety of behaviors – poor school performance, alcohol and other drug use, depression, suicide ideation. It’s important for whole communities to know young people need our support and acceptance. We need to know how to support youth, to keep them from engaging in behaviors that will negatively impact their future success and happiness. This film asks us to think about that. The conversation it generates will move us toward solutions.”
Throughout the autumn and winter, community groups and agencies have sponsored various events focused on this conversation. In September, Juvenile Court Services/Guardian ad Litem sponsored a Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience (NEAR) event at which community leaders discussed ways to recognize Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and promote resilience among our community’s youth. In January, the Chimacum Elementary and Middle Schools hosted an Adverse Childhood Experiences training given by Alyson Rotter of Educational Service District 114. In February CPC and the Chimacum High School, along with PTFF, hosted a public screening of the film UnSlut. In March, The Benji Project hosted an evidence-based Mindfulness Self-Compassion retreat that introduced “Making Friends with Yourself” teen program. “The Benson film continues these conversations,” Banker said.
Adverse Childhood Experiences, which are common across socio-economic boundaries, are extremely stressful events that happen to children as they grow up. The research reflects the progressive nature of adversity and its deleterious effects on physiology. Our sense of safety, community and familial connectedness, trust and happiness are all impacted negatively by our adverse childhood experiences. Adverse or traumatic experiences in childhood can cause our stress chemicals to stay at high alert, leading to long periods of engaged “fight or flight” chemicals in our bodies. This heightened chemical response in the sympathetic system is linked to multiple chronic diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and addiction disorders.
The Chimacum Prevention Coalition’s (CPC) aim and mission is to unite youth, families, and agencies in support of healthy youth in Chimacum and throughout East Jefferson County by improving community connectedness, strengthening families, and preventing early initiation to alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use. Its work is focused on improving school performance and mental / behavioral health, on helping youth avoid delinquency, and on assisting youth in laying a foundation for healthy choices. All of its activities are designed to be free, accessible, and widely promoted in the community.
CPC is a volunteer prevention advocacy organization that brings parents, schools, agencies, community groups, and community members together to work on preventing youth substance use and abuse. The Coalition works primarily in the Chimacum School District in collaboration with the Olympic Educational Service District 114, Jefferson County Public Health, and the Chimacum schools.
For information about the Chimacum Prevention Coalition, visit the Jefferson County Public Health website.
For local information contact Denise Banker, 360-385-9438 at Jefferson County Public Health.
Always working for a safer and healthier community