Much is written on what an ACEs score can tell an individual. Currently, there are more than 1000 books on childhood trauma listed on Amazon, most having a self-help/behavioral health care lens.
In Anna Age Eight, we focus on what the ACEs scores tell us about the city and county we live in, and more importantly, its commitment to the safety of children. We write about the ten vital services needed to prevent ACEs, services that could be put in place in every community if the elected leaders made trauma-free and thriving childhoods a priority. We provide a blueprint for our mayors, city councilors, county commissioners, school board members and state lawmakers to create a seamless local system of safety and trauma-informed care for 100% of our families.
Unsurprisingly, the levels of adverse childhood experiences like those listed above can predict to a degree all kinds of risky behavior later on in life. If too many ACEs are experienced during childhood, pretty soon the risk of suicide, alcoholism, illicit drug use, prescription drug misuse, smoking, severe obesity, depression, risky sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted diseases go through the roof. Untreated trauma caused by ACEs may diminish one’s capacity to learn, acquire and hold down a job, have healthy intimate relationships, and be a successful parent.
Childhood trauma comes with high emotional and financial costs. There are a host of important questions to consider as we build the infrastructure to end childhood trauma. Consider the following one as a starting point: Are you willing to start a dialogue about trauma with your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and elected leaders?
For more information on the ACEs survey, research, prevention strategies, and school, campus and workplace policies on ACEs, please contact us.