A C E S
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 use problems
- 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 use problems in adulthood. ACEs can also negatively impact education, job opportunities, and earning potential. However, ACEs can be prevented.
Please note the examples above are not meant to be a complete list of adverse experiences. There are many other traumatic experiences that could impact health and wellbeing.