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Connect Battle Ground: Transforming Young Lives through Relationship

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Being a teenager is hard. And today’s world is all the more difficult for teens to navigate when they have been affected and disadvantaged by childhood trauma, neglect and abuse. In response to youth suicides and depression specifically in Battle Ground youth in recent years, community leaders looked for solutions by digging deeper into the root of the problems, and creating Connect BG, a coalition whose life-changing effects are now some of the best resources available to Battle Ground youth.

What were the underlying issues? What was discovered lined up with scientific studies on ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). According to the Connect BG website, Robert Block of the American Academy of Pediatrics says, “ACEs are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today.” The website continues, “Listening to the voices and behaviors of our youth has informed us, they feel abandoned by the adults of our society.” Many children are affected in varying degrees over multiple ACEs categories. The good news is that there are practical solutions to help these kids, and they are happening with incredible results in the Battle Ground community. Through the key principles of relationship, collaboration, and transformation, positive changes are taking place.

To read more, pick up a copy of the April 2017 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

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About Author

Vivian Mattila Walikainen is blessed with a husband of 25 years, six children and three grandchildren who keep her learning, growing, and slightly off-balance. She lives in Battle Ground and recently earned a bachelor's degree in human development from Warner Pacific College.

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