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PRACTICE Grant Toolkit

The UCLA-UCSF ACEs Aware Family Resilience Network (UCAAN) has announced a third round of ACEs Aware grant funding called PRACTICE: Preventing and Responding to ACE-Associated Health Conditions and Toxic Stress in Clinics through Community Engagement.

One of the grant’s goals is to “Develop sustainable, practical, community-informed, evidence-based services that target toxic stress physiology and ACE-Associated Health Conditions, and support the prevention of ACEs and toxic stress.”

We believe that  Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience will help you successfully meet that goal by delivering practical, evidence-based services that target and prevent toxic stress.

Mind Matters’ benefits:

  • Practical and evidence-based
  • Can be facilitated by community based, non-clinicians
  • Psycho-educational program that interrupts toxic stress
  • For people 12 and up

Our team at The Dibble Institute would be pleased to consult with you on your application. Call 1-800-695-7975 Extension 700 or email for a personal conversation.

Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience

Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience

People experiencing trauma and toxic stress often have difficulty regulating their emotional responses when facing challenges in school, life, relationships and family settings.

Mind Matters’  lessons and activities teach people skills to respond to negative experiences with innovative methods based on  current research and neuroscience. These practices give individuals a way to take charge of their emotions and improve their states of mind. Participants learn to address their physical, relational, and mental health needs.

Mind Matters’ practical, hands-on lessons explore the effects of trauma along with the healing process. Each lesson includes activities that build resilience and increase hope.

The skills taught in Mind Matters are designed to be practiced over a lifetime. The curriculum is not meant to be therapy or to replace psychotherapy. Rather, it is intended to be facilitated by paraprofessionals to inspire, uplift, and set people on the journey of healing as they cultivate deeper resilience.

Request a Review Copy to see the program for yourself.

Findings from a randomized control trial conducted at the University of Louisville showed that Mind Matters significantly:

  • increases trauma coping skills,
  • reduces PTSD symptoms,

There were trending improvements in resiliency, emotional regulation, and social competence.  Read the Full Report here.

Antle, B.F., et al. (2021). Mind Matters Comprehensive Evaluation Final Report Brief Summary. Findings from a randomized control trial conducted at the University of Louisville. Read the Full Report here.

Antle, B.F., and Cooper, S. (2020). Mind Matters Technical Report. Preliminary findings from an ongoing randomized control trial conducted at the University of Louisville.

WEBINAR: The Impact of Mind Matters: Results from the University of Louisville’s pilot Study. March 2020.

Review the Mind Matters Underlying Evidence Base here.

Successful grants will incorporate approaches for assessing and interrupting toxic stress (e.g….) Mind Matters
Supportive Relationships
Balanced Nutrition In publication
Physical Activity
Mental Health
Self-Soothing Skills
Regulating Emotions
Stress Management
Communication Skills
Learning to Ask for Help
Building a Support System
Living Life with Intention

Carolyn Rich Curtis, Ph.D., a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is the author of Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience.

She obtained her doctorate at the Professional School of Psychology, Masters from CSU, Sacramento and Bachelor’s Degree from UC, Davis. She founded he Author of on-demand learning MMNRelationship Skills Center in Sacramento that was recognized as one of the leading organizations in the nation in building healthy relationships. Dr. Curtis spoke at the White House regarding the success of the Center.

In her clinical practice, she specialized in working with couples, alcohol abuse and trauma. She was an adjunct faculty member in the Psychology Department of California State University, Sacramento and American River College teaching Child Development, Human Sexuality, Stress Management, Applied Psychological Principles and Introduction to Psychology.

Dr. Curtis is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She presented papers at the Governor’s Conference on Child Abuse, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, University of California Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Fathers and Families Coalition of America, and Office of Family Assistance Grantee Conference. She is currently very involved with community efforts to reduce the impact of trauma and with the First 5 Sacramento.

Overcoming Adversity and Building ResilienceCharles F Stolzenbach, L.M.F.T. is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with over 40 years of clinical experience. Currently, he a Senior Mental Health Counselor with Sacramento County with the Department of Health and Human Services. For the past 18 years he has provided counseling services for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

He has degrees from Bluffton University, Garrett School of Theology at Northwestern University, and the University of California Irvine. Previous to this work, Stolzenbach was a Methodist Pastor for five churches and served as a Navy Chaplain during the Vietnam War.

During 30 years of experience in private practice, he specialized in couples, families, and individuals, alcohol abuse, and the effects of trauma on brain and bodily health. He was Director of the El Dorado Council of Alcoholism and founder of the Sierra Behavioral Health, Inc. He has clinical membership in the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Certified Imago Therapist, and a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals. He has certifications as Employee Assistance Professional, Imago Therapy, Group Psychotherapist, and Supervisor of Marriage and Family Therapists, and is an Instructor in Mastering the Mysteries of Love, PAIRS, Gottman Bringing Baby Home, and has training in Critical Stress Incidence Debriefing and EMDR Level II.

He now works with men and women to remove behavioral health barriers threatening their ability to successfully transition to the workforce and thrive as individuals. His work in part involves the use of behavioral health skills to reduce emotional distress and clear the way for productivity and personal fulfillment. His treatment perspective is comprehensive and focused addressing the factors impacting their ability to thrive in workplace environments, personal relations, and areas of personal health, well-being, and happiness.

Appropriate Populations Mind Matters
Transgender or LGBTQIA+
Adults ages 18-65 years old
Adolescents – 12 and up
Rural Communities
Tribal Communities
Urban and Suburban Communities

Mind Matters supports the following anticipated outcomes:

  1. Increased access to and utilization of services prioritized by partners and patients to prevent and respond to ACE-Associated Health Conditions. Mind Matters is an interactive, engaging program that has been shown to work well, either in person or via tele-health, with a variety of populations.
  2. Implementation provides positive impact on patient health or well-being. Findings from a randomized control trial conducted at the University of Louisville showed that Mind Matters effectively increase trauma coping skills, reduce PTSD symptoms, as well as trending improvement in resiliency, emotional regulation, and social competence.  Read the Full Report here.
  3. Interventions are recorded and trackable. Each participant in Mind Matters is meant to have a Mind Matters journal to complete activities and make a plan for practicing their skills. Skill and knowledge retention is embedded within the program through the written component of many lessons and activities.
  4. Implementation of practices/products to improve provider/staff satisfaction, reduce burnout, and increase well-being. Mind Matters is designed for people ages 12 and up. Mind Matters lessons are ready-to-teach resulting little stress on the facilitator because all the components (slides, handouts, AV materials) are at their fingertips. As facilitators prepare to teach the content of Mind Matters to others, they often develop skills to manage their own stress.
Toxic Stress Response: For the purposes of this RFP, the response to toxic stress involves a treatment and follow-up plan that is aimed at reducing, mitigating, or preventing toxic stress physiology. Several examples are below:
  • Preventing the prolonged or repeated activation of the stress response (preventing/stopping the ACEs and other stressors),
  • Teaching relaxation and coping skills/strategies that can lower stress hormone levels, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. during and after stressful events (e.g. breathing techniques, mindfulness),
  • Addressing the underlying toxic stress physiology i.e. neurologic, endocrine, immune, metabolic and genetic disruptions (e.g. evidence-based toxic stress mitigation strategies, including supportive relationships, quality sleep, balanced nutrition, physical activity, practicing mindfulness, experiencing nature, and trauma-informed mental health therapy


Until now, Mind Matters has been available to youth only through trusted adults, teachers, and youth group leaders who work with them. But with the release of Me & My Emotions, young people aged 13 and up can now learn and practice skills to build resilience on their own through our new free mobile friendly website. Developed in response to the pandemic-related toxic stress youth have endured during the pandemic, this new resource is available at no cost.

With engaging graphics and bite-sized lessons, Me & My Emotions invites teens to develop practices that align with the same skill sets available in Mind Matters:

  • Self-Soothing and Mindfulness Practices
  • Managing Stress Effectively
  • Developing Empathy
  • Developing a life of Intention
  • Building and Using a Support System

Grant Planning

Our team at The Dibble Institute would be pleased to consult with you on implementation approaches that meet the needs of your community and populations.  We have helped many successful grantees consider how best to plan and organize classes, whether to teach in person or via tele-health, and what incentives will help build retention. Please contact Kay Reed, Executive Director at for a personal conversation.

We would be pleased to share with you measures and surveys used to capture the following information:

  • Patient input prior to and after implementation of at least one service
  • Qualitative information on patient satisfaction,
  • Qualitative information on clinician/staff satisfaction and well-being surveys

Mind Matters Instructor’s Manuals are $325 each. They include all 12 lesson plans, plus one-to-one guidance for home visitors, all PowerPoints, handouts, Self-Soothing Toolkit, and additional enrichment materials.

Mind Matters Journals are sold in packs of 10.

  • $100 for 1-2 packs
  • $95 for 3-11 packs
  • $90 for 12 or more packs

Workbooks help solidify participant learning and build new patterns and life skills.

Mind Matters  training – please call us at 800-695-7975 to get a custom quote based on your plans.


Small Print: Sales tax is charged on instructor’s manuals and participant’s journals based on the tax rate at the location where we ship. Shipping and handling is 10% up to $5,000, $500 from $5,001 up to $10,000, and 5% above $10,001.