Events in childhood can impact brain development and how we carry and respond to stress as an adult. They influence relationships, employability, productivity, mental, physical and behavioral health.

Understanding ACEs helps us be better employers, non-profits, educators and community members. It also helps us to shape policy, programs, prevention strategies with a different perspective; Instead of "what's wrong" the question becomes "what happened".

We are passion about about being part of the solution of this public health burden.

What are ACEs, exactly?

Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). For example:

  • experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect
  • witnessing violence in the home or community
  • having a family member attempt or die by suicide

Also included are aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding such as growing up in a household with:

  • substance misuse
  • mental health problems
  • instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison

ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood. ACEs can also negatively impact education and job opportunities.

By identifying and understanding stress patterns and contributing factors, we can make better choices, and use tools and techniques to address them. 

ACEs are common.

About 61% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported that they had experienced at least one type of ACE, and nearly 1 in 6 reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs.

Some children are at greater risk than others. Women and several racial/ethnic minority groups were at greater risk for having experienced 4 or more types of ACEs.

ACEs are costly. 

The economic and social costs to families, communities, and society totals hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

People with an ACE Score of 4 or more miss on average 14 days of work annually due to physical, mental or emotional issues.

ACEs are Preventable.

Preventing ACEs could potentially reduce a large number of health conditions. For example, up to 1.9 million cases of heart disease and 21 million cases of depression could have been potentially avoided by preventing ACEs.