On Friday May 25th, I will be participating in the CHAT (Community Health Action Team) PLUNGE on the topic of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their impact on youth, our workforce, and on our community.
ACEs are traumatic events that happen in youth that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being. The ACEs test asks questions relating to a person’s childhood experiences, ranging from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to economic hardship, parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian. The higher number of questions you check yes to on the ACEs test, the higher your ACEs score.
Research indicates that a person with four or more ACEs is six times more likely to struggle with depression, seven times more likely to become an alcoholic, ten times more likely to inject drugs, and twelve times more likely to attempt suicide. They are twice as likely to have heart disease and twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer. These odds increase exponentially as the ACE score rises.
(For more information on ACEs go to https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about.html)
The goal of the plunge is identify strategies and tactics that can be employed in the community to prevent ACES and effectively support people with them.
These strategies and tactics will also apply to people within the church. But we have an additional resource. We proclaim the unconditional love of God – a great word of hope to persons who have been treated in less than loving ways.