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Adverse Childhood Experiences

Did you know that half of people in the UK have experienced an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) in their childhood and 1 in 10 people experience four or more ACES?. (ghll.org.uk) Additionally, 80% of offenders in the UK have experienced ACES. (Public Health Wales)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). These experiences may involve violence, household dysfunction, and exposure to substance abuse or mental illness but trauma may also come from less obvious events as individuals all experience and respond to situations differently.

ACEs can have lasting, negative effects on health and can contribute to conditions such as Heart disease, Strokes, Cancer and Diabetes. They can also impact on well-being and lead to increased depression, anxiety, misuse of substances and likelihood of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ACEs can also affect a person’s sense of self-worth, their ability to trust others, and their ability to cope with stress, they are more likely to have problems in school, work, and relationships.

The effects of ACEs can be cumulative. The more ACEs a person experiences, the greater their risk for health problems and other negative outcomes.

So, how can we prevent ACEs?

There is no single way to prevent ACEs. However, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce the risk of children experiencing ACEs.

This includes:

  • Providing parents with support and resources
  • Promoting healthy relationships from an early age
  • Addressing mental illness and substance abuse
  • Creating safe and supportive communities

What can I do if I have experienced ACEs?

If you have experienced ACEs, there are things you can do to heal and thrive. This could include getting support from a therapist or counsellor, joining a support group, learning about ACES and their effects and taking care of your mental health.

Our in-person and online courses at Red Snapper Managed Services are ACES-aware and informed, with some of them having direct content about ACES, to learn more visit: https://www.rsms.ltd/interventions/ or contact Jonathan.hussey@rsg.ltd for more information about what we can provide.


Written by Christopher English

www.ghll.org.uk. (n.d.). ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences : Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning. [online] Available at: https://www.ghll.org.uk/mental-health/aces—adverse-childhood-experiences/#:~:text=ACEs%20are%20prevalent%20across%20the.

Public Health Wales. (n.d.). More than eight in ten men in prison suffered childhood adversity. [online] Available at: https://phw.nhs.wales/news/more-than-eight-in-ten-men-in-prison-suffereAdverse-Childhood-Experiences-xd-childhood-adversity/.

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