Mental Health Promotion

Adverse Childhood Experiences / Trauma

| January 15, 2015

Early childhood experiences have lasting, measurable consequences later in life; therefore, fostering emotional well-being from the earliest stages of life helps build a foundation for overall health and well-being.  National Prevention Council, National Prevention Strategy, 2011.

From results of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, we have learned that traumatic events and experiences that occur early in life have an impact on the health and social-emotional well-being throughout the lifespan. Examples of traumatic events include physical and sexual abuse, neglect, loss of a parent/caregiver due to death, abandonment, incarceration or divorce, and exposure to violence and substance use.

To reduce the impact of traumatic events and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and increase mental wellness, we need to:

    • Increase our understanding and awareness of trauma and ACEs
    • Provide trauma-informed care and services
    • Increase parent/guardian/family support and education
    • Invest in prevention and resiliency practices and programs
    • Develop nurturing, resilient and trauma-informed communities

Trauma-Informed Approach

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed:

      1. Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;
      2. Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system;
      3. Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and
      4. Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.

A trauma-informed approach can be implemented in any type of service setting or organization and is distinct from trauma-specific interventions or treatments that are designed specifically to address the consequences of trauma and to facilitate healing. ”

For more information, go to SAMHSA’s Trauma-Informed Approach section at


Roadmap to Resilience (click poster to enlarge)

To learn more, check out these resources:


ACEs Connection

This “community of practice” focuses on trauma-informed, resilience-building practices to prevent ACEs.  It includes a multitude of news, resources and social networking opportunities.

 ACEs Response Toolkit

This site focuses on what we can do about ACEs and how to increase resiliency.  The toolkit includes a number of great resources for individuals, families, communities, and professionals.

ACEs Too High

Includes general information about ACEs, numerous resources and resources on ACEs and child abuse prevention, and trauma-informed practices.

 Adverse Childhood Experiences, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

This section on the SAMHSA website includes information about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study, the relationship of ACEs to substance use and behavioral health problems and how to incorporate efforts between these fields, and other resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Includes information about child maltreatment violence prevention, risk and protective factors, details about the ACE study, and statistics.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Provides a multitude of resources on child abuse prevention, strengthening families, and evidence-based practices.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Provides information about various topics about trauma including types, culture and trauma, economic stress, evidence-based treatment and services, and tips on creating trauma-informed systems

The Resilience Project

This project from the American Academy of Pediatrics offers healthcare providers tools they can use to better identify, treat and refer children and youth impacted by ACEs.  It also includes tools for communities, families, children and parents.

Trauma-Informed Oregon

This resource serves as a centralized source of information and resources for Oregon.   Includes basics about trauma-informed principles and practices, training and education, organizational resources, and happenings across the state.

Trauma Informed Care, National Council for Behavioral Health

Includes an overview of trauma-informed care, resources on trauma-informed consulting and the infographic, How to Manage Trauma.


Print Materials

National Council for Behavioral Health Posters











Lane County ACEs & Resiliency Materials





ACEs-Rack Card_English_FINAL

ACEs-Rack Card_Spanish_FINAL9_Empathy





Lane County Resilience Tips–Bus ads 

These bus ads feature quick tips for resilience. Tips introduce concepts and every-day actions to promote wellbeing and connection between caring adults and children.  One sample is shown above.

2014 Prevention Resource Guide:  Making Meaningful Connections 

2014 Prevention Resource Guide_ Making Meaningful Connection

ACEs Brief 2014: ACEs Prevalence, Scores, and Health Outcomes (Oregon)

ACEs Brief 2014

Building Resiliency:  Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Oregon Health Authority

Building Resiliency and Reducing ACEs OHA

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study:  How are findings being applied in Oregon? The Ford Family Foundation, 2014

OR ACE Study Report

Trauma-Informed Care, CD Summary, Oregon Public Health Division, Oregon Health Authority, 2014

CD Summary Trauma Informed Care

Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)– A Handout for Parents

ACES_handout for parents

Washington County Facts Sheets and Toolkits

Includes fact sheets for educators, law enforcement, teens, families, parents, providers, home visitors and caseworkers as well as information on resiliency and protective factors in English and Spanish.

Washington County Fact Sheets



Category: Mental Health

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