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ACES/Connections Matter- Mental Health

July 11 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm


Emily DesPlanque with Molina Healthcare will be joining us to talk about ACES. What are ACES and what can we do to help children who have experienced ACES? How do ACES affect children and adults and what can we do to prevent them?

Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. For example:

  • experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect
  • witnessing violence in the home or community
  • having a family member attempt or die by suicide

Also included are aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding, such as growing up in a household with:

  • substance use problems
  • mental health problems
  • instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison

Many other traumatic experiences could impact health and wellbeing, such as not having enough food to eat, experiencing homelessness or unstable housing, or experiencing discrimination.

ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance use problems in adolescence and adulthood. ACEs can also negatively impact education, job opportunities, and earning potential. However, ACEs can be prevented. Come learn more to help support children in your learning environments.

We are also excited to have Lora Kracht, with Prevent Child Abuse Iowa come join us to talk about Connections Matter®. This program promotes caring connections as the foundation for developing healthy brains, supportive relationships and strong communities. The Connections Matter® program is about engaging communities in understanding the impact of trauma and the important role we all play in building resilience through trusting, caring relationships.

Communities that are connected through close relationships are safer; children do better – even children who struggle with tough times; and people are healthier.

We learn more each day about the potential long-term effects trauma has on people who don’t have supportive relationships or a strong community to protect them. Research has shown that trauma can be passed on to the next generation unintentionally.

This day of learning will provide useful information for everyone to add to their toolkits!


July 11
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
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