Experiencing distress or a disturbing event is called trauma. Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, are traumatic events in childhood that include abuse, neglect or household dysfunction. Children who experience ACEs are at higher risk in adulthood of having long-term health problems, experiencing anxiety and depression and/or abusing drugs or alcohol. Adults with ACEs may also have feelings of shame or guilt, trouble controlling their emotions and difficultly connecting with others. Studies show that at least 67% of the population has one ACE.
BeWellVA, a collaboration of Central Virginia’s seven Community Services Boards (CSBs), offers free workshops to help people in our community better understand, prevent and build resilience after ACEs. Each “Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)” workshop reviews the basic principles of brain science to explain how our brains work, provides specific examples of ACEs and how they impact us, shares ways to identify children and adults who have experienced ACEs, offers strategies for prevention and highlights ways to build resilience for a happier, more fulfilling life.
“Quite often people don’t realize how their childhood experiences impact their adult life,” said Charlene Edwards, prevention services manager at Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, the CSB serving the City of Richmond. “These workshops are designed to help people understand what ACEs are and how they can potentially impact their behaviors. More importantly, they can help people who have, care for, or work with children understand how their actions may impact a child”
The “Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)” workshop is open to all who are interested but is particularly valuable for young adults and those who teach or work with them; military personnel, veterans and their families; early childhood educators; the faith community; and residential services organizations. The next workshop is scheduled for Thursday, July 21, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Additional workshops are scheduled for Oct. 20, 2022 and Jan. 19, 2023. There is no cost to attend but registration is required. For more information and to register, please click here.