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Equity Challenge Day 15

DAY 15: Adverse Childhood Experiences

Good health affects everything from how well a child can learn to how much an adult can earn. For children to meet developmental milestones, learn, grow, and lead productive lives, they must be healthy. 

Social-emotional and mental health is a crucial component of children’s healthy development. Poverty, trauma, and inadequate treatment are three factors that have a sustained, negative impact on children’s social, emotional, and mental health. We must also recognize racism as an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) — a toxic source of stress that can potentially disrupt a child’s ability to learn, relate, grow, play, communicate, and problem-solve. ACEs disproportionately impact children of color

The downstream impact of institutions and systems’ toxic environments shape our lived experience in the Quad Cities (e.g., justice, education, and health care systems). To learn more about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Statistics, please visit this BIPOC Mental Health resource. 

Healthy school, community, and home environments are critical to preventing children from experiencing ACEs and appropriately supporting students living with chronic stress so that it does not get in the way of them achieving their aspirations. 

No adverse childhood experiences

One adverse childhood experience

Two or more adverse childhood experiences









 Source: 2018 National Survey of Children's Health

Today’s Challenge:

If at any time you experience an unwelcomed emotional response, or you feel that you need to speak with a mental health provider or counselor, resources are available here.

Option 1: Watch on the TED stage, as Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect, and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain.

Option 2: View this page explaining how ACEs affect our lives and society. The graphic summarizes findings from a landmark Kaiser study that looks at the link between ACEs and long-term well-being.

Option 3: Learn about resources in the Quad Cities to support children through ACEs like trauma, abuse, and drivers of toxic stress. As a starting point, here are a few simple Everyday Gestures to help a child heal.

Option 4: If you feel prepared to go deeper and learn how to find your own ACEs score and protective factors, use these links to evaluate your resilience score and explore resources to support yourself and others by building resilience.