Adverse Childhood Experiences

Childhood trauma damages a child’s development and creates problems later on in adulthood. Know the impact ACEs can have on your family…

ACE’s are Adverse Childhood Experiences that harm children’s developing brains. The effects of the trauma appear decades later in adulthood. These experiences can cause chronic diseases, most mental illness, and violent occurrences. Some researchers consider childhood trauma to be the Nation’s No. 1 public health concern.

Examples of ACEs:

  • Physical, sexual, and verbal abuse
  • Physical and emotional neglect
  • A family member who is
    • Depressed or diagnosed with other mental illness;
    • Addicted to alcohol or another substance;
    • In prison
  • Witnessing a mother being abused
  • Losing a parent to separation, divorce, or other reason

What makes ACEs significant?

  • ACEs are common – nearly 2/3s or 64% of adults have at least one.
  • They are the cause of adult onset of chronic disease, such as cancer and heart disease, as well as mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence.
  • ACEs don’t occur alone… if you have one, there’s an 87% chance that you’ll then have two or more.
  • The more ACEs you have, the greater the risk for chronic disease, mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence. Scores range from 0-10. Each type of trauma counts as one, no matter the frequency or times it occurred.
  • ACEs are responsible for a big chunk of workplace absenteeism and for costs in health care, emergency response, mental health and criminal justice. Childhood adversity contributes to most of our major chronic health, mental health, economic health, and social health issues.

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