Trauma/ACEs

more than 6,000 children in the metro area were in treatment for serious emotional disorders | more than 3,000 children in the metro area were in foster care | the cost of untreated mental illness is $624 million across public and private sectors.
  • more than 6,000 children in the metro area were in treatment for serious emotional disorders
  • more than 3,000 children in the metro area were in foster care
  • the cost of untreated mental illness is $624 million across public and private sectors. 


A traumatic event in childhood, such as experiencing physical or sexual abuse, witnessing domestic violence or living in a household where someone abuses alcohol or other drugs, can have negative impacts on children while they are growing up. Trauma can change the structure of the brain, especially for very young children.
 
Research shows us that more than half of the general adult population has experienced at least one major traumatic event, also known as Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs.  Persons who experience adverse events during childhood are more likely to have poorer mental and physical health in adulthood.
 
As we start acknowledging the impact that stress and trauma can have on our health, we can start to develop skills for coping with the bad things that happen and develop strategies to prevent them from happening.  Human beings are resilient and can heal from trauma. We know that a connected and trauma aware community is a healthy and resilient community.


What Are ACEs?




Lifespan Impacts of ACEsIn 1995 physicians Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda led a collaborative study between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente to assess the association between adverse childhood experiences and subsequent health and wellbeing in adulthood. They surveyed more than 17,000 adult members about exposure to 10 types of childhood trauma.
 
More than half of the respondents reported experiencing at least one ACE and one-fourth experienced two or more ACEs. As the number of ACEs a person experienced increased so did the likelihood of many disease such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, AIDS and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
 
Examples of ACEs:
  • Physical, emotional, sexual abuse
  • Physical, emotional neglect
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Depression/mental illness in the home
  • Incarcerated family member
  • Substance about in the home
  • Loss of a parent
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