Community Health and Social Service Professionals certified in The Brain Story (Government of PEI)

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, Dec. 08, 2023 (Government of Prince Edward Island)Community health and social service organizations on PEI are now certified in The Brain Story, an in-depth course about the science of brain development. 

A core component of the Brain Story Certification is the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), or trauma in childhood and poor health outcomes. Evidence for program and policy interventions that build secure, stable relationships, enhance core life skills, and reduce sources of toxic stress has been shown to improve health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

Through funding from the Department of Health and Wellness, the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being convened leaders and staff from 25 community health and social service organizations to explore the connection between brain development and how trauma in the critical early childhood development years creates a trajectory for social, physical, mental, and substance use health outcomes.

The Brain Story Certification presents evidence-based research that enables a deeper understanding of brain development and its consequences for lifelong health. The intensive week-long certification course builds on two years of work by the Alliance to create a new, more positive and evidence-based dialogue on PEI about mental health.

The participants participating in the inaugural certification course included staff from the Adventure Group, Community Outreach Centre, The Native Council of PEI, PEERS Alliance and the Charlottetown Police. Participants emerged with a renewed commitment to collaboration and targeting support for people struggling with mental health and substance use health issues.

In recent years, there has been increased visibility and attention placed on people with complex health and social challenges and the disadvantages they face when attempting to access services and supports. The Brain Story provides an opportunity to build a common knowledge base and language amongst service providers, an important element for supporting the whole person.

Additional course offerings will resume in the new year. Individuals who may be interested in enrolling in future Brain Story Certification course offerings should contact: Bonnie Lipton-Bos, Director Knowledge Mobilization and Impact at the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being.


“By coming together in person, we were able to see where each of our organizations falls on the continuum of care, service delivery and prevention. Our job is to create new and innovative ways to leverage each other to better support Island families.” – Karen Cumberland, Executive Director – PEI Alliance for Mental Well-being

“We created the Alliance as a proactive step to bring new solutions to address the interconnected issues of trauma and mental well-being. It’s amazing to see leaders from across the health and social sectors come together around evidence-based innovation. Offering this certification was a commitment we made to Islanders and I’m happy to see the inaugural course was successful and look forward to expanding more opportunities to staff who work with vulnerable Islanders.”

– Hon. Mark McLane, Minister of Health and Wellness

“By the time we are involved, it’s often a moment of crisis. So, being able to understand that the person is a result of childhood experiences, not poor choices – that’s a big shift. It will greatly affect how our officers see and engage people, particularly in situations of repeat encounters.” – Chief Brad MacConnell, Chief of Police – Charlottetown Police Service

“Every day we provide emergency help to people who consistently lacked kindness, safety and support since childhood. We urgently need to shift the public thinking from ‘what’s wrong with you,’ to ‘what happened to you,’ and build a new culture of empathy.” – Roxanne Carter-Thompson, Executive Director – Adventure Group

Associated Links: 

About the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-being
The PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being exists to create the conditions for positive change that advance resiliency and improve the mental well-being of all Islanders. The Province of PEI created the Alliance in 2021 with a specific intention to focus and accelerate activities at the prevention end of the spectrum. Day-to-day, the Alliance serves as a backbone support, providing leadership, coordination, and communication for the PEI mental well-being landscape.

About Brain Story
The University of Oxford, in partnership with the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative, is working to share knowledge about the science of brain development for families and professionals. This is important information for everybody to understand how our earliest experiences can affect our long-term mental and physical health.

This training was made available by support of the Palix Foundation (Alberta)

For more information, visit: Alberta Family Wellness Initiative

Media Inquiries: 
Samantha Hughes
Department of Health and Wellness

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Media Contact


Contact: Bonnie Lipton-Bos – Director, Knowledge Mobilization and Impact