Park City will learn about ‘Resilience’ |

Park City will learn about ‘Resilience’

Documentary filmmaker James Redford's 2016 film "Resilience" examines recent medical studies that have found that illnesses, diseases and other ailments suffered by adults stem from trauma they experienced as children.

The idea for the film came to Redford while he working on another project called "Paper Tigers," which is about childhood trauma, said Dr. Susie Wiet, a Salt Lake City-based psychiatrist specializing in addiction medicine and trauma.

The filmmaker learned about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, which was conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention from 1995 to 1997, and that surveyed more than 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members in southern California about their childhood and current health status, said Wiet, the founder of the Utah Trauma-Resiliency Collaborative, a nonprofit that strives to educate the public about the importance of identifying trauma and how trauma can be mitigated by the development of resiliency skills.

"James was so taken aback that he wanted to create a film that looked closely at the neurological and biological underpinnings of the study," she said.

People who need help don’t readily find treatment providers who are aware of the effects of childhood trauma...”Ashley Weitz,Utah Trauma-Resiliency Collaborative co-founder

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A free screening of "Resilience" will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 11, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. The event is made possible by a partnership of the Collaborative, the Healing Group and National Alliance on Mental Health Utah.

Wiet first saw the film in 2016, and was asked to participate in a post-screening panel discussion.

"I work with many addicts, and saw the connection of significant addiction that was primed, if you will, with childhood experience," she said. "I thought what he put together in the film was so spot-on and needed to be communicated with our community at large."

A panel discussion will also follow Monday's screening as well.

The slate of panelists is set to include Wiet and following participants:

• Sarah Caldwell, CSW — a mental health therapist with offices in Park City and Midvale, who specializes in sex therapy, dating and relationships, and maternal mental health.

• Jenny Elizabeth, ACMHC, AT — a Salt Lake-based certified clinical trauma professional, licensed associate clinical mental health counselor, who has a master's degree in art therapy.

• Audrey Jiricko, MD — an OB/GYN physician with Intermountain Healthcare, chair of Intermountain's Intimate Partner Violence work group and board member of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition and YWCA Utah.

The panel will be moderated by Ashley Weitz, co-founder of the Utah Trauma-Resiliency Collaborative and a childhood trauma survivor herself.

"I grew up in a difficult place, personally, and I internalized a lot of what was going on through my early adulthood," Weitz said. "The unfortunate thing about mental health care today is that, in many cases, people who need help don't readily find treatment providers who are aware of the effects of childhood trauma."

After years of searching, Weitz found treatment and turned her life around, something that "Resilience" shows is possible, she said.

"What was great about this film is that it explains what happens in the brains of (those of) us who experience trauma during childhood," Weitz said. "It also shows that while a brain can be rewired for dysfunction, it can also be rewired later for function, health and healing."

Wiet said the goal of screening the film is not to show what is wrong with a person, but what has happened to a person.

"In doing so, we can better address the issues and start the healing process," she said.

The Utah Trauma-Resiliency Collaborative, Healing Group and National Alliance on Mental Health Utah will present a free screening of James Redford’s documentary, “Resilience,” at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 11, at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. A panel discussion will follow the screening. To register, visit