Experiencing childhood traumas puts you at risk for lifelong health consequences, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The study showed 61% of adults experienced one ACE (or, Adverse Childhood Experience), and 16% had four or more types of ACEs, which can be caused by physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect; caregiver mental illness; and household violence. This is troubling because having a high number of ACEs greatly increases your risk for five of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.
ACEs influence many areas of health and well-being. From physical symptoms like depression, anxiety, chronic pain and substance abuse, ACEs can lead to poor worker performance as well as impact business profitability.
It’s critical that organizations, schools, and corporations implement community-wide strategies to prevent trauma.
Prevention is possible, and it’s happening. A corporate response to ACEs means looking at internal policies, practices, and culture to see how sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse are addressed or tolerated.
Corporate leaders and innovators must move past old models of maintaining a healthy, productive workforce. It’s not enough to offer job training and medical care for injuries — companies should also help employees with unresolved ACEs and support community initiatives that prevent these experiences from happening to the next generation. Corporations can work within their organizations but also within their community to have a lasting impact. They can ensure young people thrive through work with community service providers and youth-serving organizations to expand programs to remove barriers, like the stigma attached to mental illness, by supporting a culture that reduces employee stress and promotes health and well-being for employees as well as family members.
Preventing these experiences in childhood has the potential to reduce heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and positively influence mental health as well as education and employment opportunities. RALIANCE is your partner in ending sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse. Learn more at https://www.raliance.org/consulting/