The Impact Of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
I don’t always speak forcefully on topics of mental health but this one is too important to side-step or minimize.
Victim-blaming is a byproduct of ignorance.
I am continuously disheartened by the indiscriminate and cruel approach of many supposed wellness coaches who claim that a clean diet & exercise is the only answer to chronic illness; suggesting that marginalized communities are somehow “too lazy” or “too ignorant” to tend to their own health. This is not only categorically false but also a deeply privileged and dangerous approach to public health.
We need mass education on the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). ACEs are categories of traumatic events that happen in childhood with wide-ranging ramifications for the health and well-being of the individual throughout their whole life.
The CDC & Kaiser conducted a large-scale study on this topic, here are the results.
The more categories of these experiences a child faces, the more likely she/he is to experience these negative outcomes:
Most tragically, the study found that people with six or more ACEs died nearly 20 years earlier on average than those without ACEs.
While ACEs pose a significant challenge to an individual’s health and well-being, early and consistent care can mitigate some of these negative consequences.
It is a matter of public policy to set up structures and support systems that tend to the needs of these most vulnerable populations.
Not only that, but educating the public, educators, and community leaders is essential in supporting a more kind, compassionate, and constructive approach towards communal well-being.
Originally published at https://anahitaanais.com/ on July 8, 2021.