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Creating wider awareness and understanding about adverse childhood experiences (ACE) across the community and wider population. Empowering people to understand that reducing early adverse experiences for children is possible.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful events occurring during childhood, including:

  • domestic violence

  • parental abandonment through separation or divorce

  • a parent with a mental health condition

  • being the victim of abuse (physical, sexual and/or emotional)

  • being the victim of neglect (physical and emotional)

  • a member of the household being in prison

  • growing up in a household in which there are adults experiencing alcohol and drug use problems.

    ACEs are associated with diminished health across the life course and generations:

  • develop heart disease

  • frequently visit the GP

  • develop type 2 diabetes

  • have committed violence in the last 12 months

  • have health-harming behaviours (high-risk drinking, smoking, drug use)

  • have been in prison

    Therefore the need to raise awareness amongst the population adds to the impact that childhood adversity has a negative impact on health is an important action for Public Health. There is a need for the effects of toxic stress to be better understood by and within our communities. The role of community education is vital if we are to collectively shift from a problem solving nature to one of community empowerment.

    The population of Airdrie is 57,053. Life expectancy for males 72 and for female’s is 76. Scotland’s average is life expectancy for males is 77.1 and females is 81.2

    Resilience: The Biology of stress and the Science of Hope. Is a one hour documentary, featuring 2 of the doctors that pioneered ACE work in USA, and the health care professionals that are carrying out clinic base work to empower individual patients to overcome early adversity to improve their health.

    Amination and well placed statistics punctuate the thoughtful film’s message thatnow armed with this information; we can act quickly to mitigate the effects of a public health crisis.

    Avoiding toxic stress and using trauma informed and resilience building practice can help us physically and mentally undo many of the negatve changes caused by ACE’s.

    Our proposal is to take this film into the heart of the community, in order that we can transform our communities by generating awareness and discussion about ACEs and their impact health conditions. This would begin to provide a focus on eradicating the negative impact of ACEs and preventing childhood trauma. The hope would be to see improvements to the population’s health, wellbeing and life expectancy. Community engagement would provide a platform for future shaping and delivery of services in line with the Scottish Governments strategy for patent centred care.

    Our proposal would be to show this film in accessible locations and at accessible times within Airdrie community. This would include: libraries, GP surgeries, community centres, school, nurseries, churches, local hospital canteen, local factories, health centres, youth clubs, town hall, social work, Airdrie Sheriff Court, Tesco and other local supermarkets, breastfeeding group

    Our proposal would be to create a Hub, with members of the public, along with health professionals, 3rd sector representatives, voluntary, social work and education. This Hub would create links with the wider community and identify specific locations and timings to show the film and provide co-ordintation of the project. The Hub would carry out pre and post evaluations from the screening from all those that attended and from this would identify key areas of improvement.

Further information

2016_05_26-ACE-Report-Final-AF (PDF, 1,016KB)

Comments

  1. Raising the profile of ACEs is really important to hopefully prevent children being exposed to them in future, but also to recognise their impact on older children / adults who may have been exposed to them so they can get the support they need. We recently had a presentation at our Health & Wellbeing Board on ACEs which was very well received. You could consider partnering, if you have not already, with some of your statutory structures. Very important issue, best of luck.

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