Take the ACEs Survey and take steps toward positive change – for yourself and your community
Knowing where you currently are is the first step to knowing where you want to go in the future.
Adversities affect us all in one way or another, including persistent, toxic stress or traumatic incidents at a young age. Research demonstrates that these Adverse Childhood Experiences – or ACEs – can lead to adulthood disease and conditions such as heart disease, smoking rates, depression and more. Children’s Mercy and other health organizations and businesses have collaborated with Resilient KC to understand the prevalence of ACEs on the community’s overall health in the Kansas City region. And you can help!
By taking the anonymous ACEs survey, you are becoming an active part of the solution. The ACE Study is one of the largest studies ever done to assess the links between childhood experiences and lifelong health and wellbeing. Research demonstrates that we can change our trajectory and improve our outcomes, simply by employing new and positive changes, such as exercise and counseling. As a participant, you’ll be helping the Kansas City community become more aware of the impact of trauma on the people who live here – and you’ll also learn a lot more about yourself! All information that you share in the survey is completely anonymous.
Take a moment right now and learn your own ACE score: www.weareresilientkc.com
“I always kind of knew that having a really rough childhood without a lot of support would lead to difficulties in adulthood,” said one Children’s Mercy employee who is a mother of three, “but after learning more about ACEs I now understand that stress early in life can lead to poor lifelong health. These tough experiences can change genes.”
The ACEs survey includes a Resilience Questionnaire. Your ACE score tells only one side of the story. You can take this important information and learn what support systems can be bolstered in your life to combat past, personal adversities.
ACEs are more common than you may realize. The 10 categories represented in the study are:
- Emotional abuse and threats
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional neglect
- Physical neglect
- Household substance abuse
- Household mental illness
- Parental separation or divorce
- Incarceration of household member
- Witnessing violence
Your ACE score is the number of different categories you have experienced. Scores range from 0-10, and it’s important to remember these categories reflect actions done to the child, not by the child. The original ACE study found that two-thirds of the nearly 17,000 respondents had at least one ACE. It was clear from those results that as the ACE score increases, so does the number of health problems.
ACEs often lead to toxic stress, which can harm a child’s brain development, stop a child from learning, playing, and growing in a healthy way, and can eventually lead to unhealthy choices and lifestyles.
To learn more about ACEs, watch this thought-provoking video that addresses questions such as:
- “What does your parents’ divorce have to do with your risk for heart disease?”
- “If your mother had a drinking problem when you were growing up, are you more likely to suffer from depression as an adult?”
In a recent discussion about ACEs and the survey, participants shared their reactions to learning their scores:
- “I have a score of 1. But the study helped me understand my ex! I used to think, ‘Your childhood was disastrous!’ He’d say, ‘Yeah, but I’m over it. I don’t want to blame my parents.’ I had to explain it was not about that.”
- “It quickly became clear that poverty is not just about money. With everything going on in someone’s household, low income is just another factor. There are many other hills to climb than just financial.”
- “This helped me understand different perspectives. Much more than I thought I already did!”
- “I like that this helps people know what all of this means. A better understanding of myself and others.”
- “Someday ACEs will be a vital sign that we take when kids come to the doctor…just like any other.”
So don’t hesitate. The next few minutes could help you understand better where you are and provide a path to where you want to go. Learn your own ACE and Resilience scores, then share this link with others and you’ll be helping build a happier, healthier community: www.weareresilientkc.com