Between 1995-97, the Center for Disease Control conducted the first Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. This groundbreaking study asked adults to identify adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect and family dysfunction. The ACE Study shows a statistical link between the prevalence of those experiences and physical/emotional health outcomes later in life. The original ACE Study found that nearly 64% of adults surveyed had at least one adverse childhood experience-- with nearly 1 in 5 of those, experiencing four or more.
On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health released it's own ACE Study. It found that 55% of Minnesotan's have had at least one adverse experience in childhood. Of those, 1 in 4 have experienced four or more. This data is significant and shows the need for programs like courageous heARTS. In today's Star Tribune coverage of this study, Dr. David McCollum from the Dept. of Health reported that "the findings do not mean that someone has an unchangeable "destiny" just because of problems in youth. It does mean the state needs to understand the risk factors and help children and adults cope."
It doesn't matter what you call it-- adverse experiences, trauma, or heart hurts-- the stress is toxic to our minds and our bodies. courageous heARTS wants to help heal these wounds by building courage in our young hearts.
This blog is written by members of courageous heARTS' Youth Advisory Board, as well as occasional posts by our founder.