A statewide initiative sets in motion to build stronger families and thriving children to prevent adverse childhood experiences.
An adverse childhood experience (ACE) is a traumatic event that takes place in a child’s life before the age of 18 that harms their developing brains and bodies where the effects show up decades later.
Arizona is said to have the highest rate in the country of children who have experienced two or more ACEs.
According to professionals, nearly two-thirds of adults have at least one ACE. With that, there is an 87% chance that those who have already suffered from an ACE will likely have two or more experiences. This can then lead to a greater risk of suffering from chronic diseases, mental illnesses, addictions, and violence.
Examples of ACEs can be physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, alcohol or drug abuse in the household, incarcerated family member, one of no parent, emotional or physical neglect, or someone in the household who is depressed, mentally ill, institutionalized or suicidal.
With town halls being held throughout Arizona, community members are coming together to come up with ideas on how this issue can be solved.
Every year the town hall has a different issue affecting the state of Arizona, and this year their topic is Strong Families, Thriving Children.
Recently students from Yuma County High School’s participated in Yuma Youth Town Hall to give their suggestions on how the issue can be solved.
On October 25, adults will come together to do the same.
The list of suggestions is then sent to state officials that way new laws or initiatives can be set in motion.
The town halls have proved to be successful in the past, and they hope this year is no different.