By proclamation of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, September 20 – 26 is Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Awareness Week. ACEs, such as abuse, neglect, an incarcerated parent, or a parent who suffers from substance abuse or mental illness, are harmful events that can occur during childhood. Studies in the fields of neurobiology, psychology, epigenetics, child development and medicine, among others, show that ACEs create toxic stress in children that has lasting consequences for their physical, mental and emotional health well into adulthood, and can be passed on to the next generation.

Arkansas ranks second in the nation for the percentage of children who have experienced two or more ACEs and nearly 62% of Arkansas adults have a least one ACE. By working together, the negative effects of ACEs can be reduced by preventing ACEs and helping individuals build resilience through safe, stable and nurturing relationships in the home and community.

The Arkansas ACEs and Resilience Coalition, in connection with the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, are hosting the fourth annual AR ACEs and Resilience Summit, September 22 – 23. This Summit will feature subject matter experts in the fields of trauma, racial equity, education, mental health and self-care. If you would like to learn more about ACEs please visit www.afmc.org/aces.