Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Awareness sessions

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Wirral Safeguarding Children Partnership still have a number of dates with availability for the ACE Awareness.

What are ACEs?

Childhood experiences have a massive impact on lifelong health and opportunity. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) refer to stressful or traumatic events that children and young people can be exposed to as they are growing up. ACEs range from experiences that directly harm a child, such as physical, verbal or sexual abuse, and physical or emotional neglect, to those that affect the environments in which children grow up, such as parental separation, domestic violence, mental illness, alcohol abuse, drug use or imprisonment. There is however a distinction between ‘normal’ stressful life events, such as parental divorce or illness of a loved one, and adverse childhood experiences, very traumatic life events, such as being or seeing someone else physically or sexually abused. These are experiences that will often be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder

What do we know about ACEs?

This ‘ACE Pyramid’ represents the link between childhood experiences, and adult health and wellbeing outcomes.

The impact of ACEs

When exposed to stressful situations, the “fight, flight or freeze” response floods our brain with corticotrophin-releasing hormones (CRH), which usually forms part of a normal and protective response that subsides once the stressful situation passes. However, when repeatedly exposed to ACEs, CRH is continually produced by the brain, which results in the child remaining permanently in this heightened state of alert and unable to return to their natural relaxed and recovered state. Children and young people who are exposed to ACEs therefore have increased – and sustained – levels of stress. In this heightened neurological state a young person is unable to think rationally and it is physiologically impossible for them to learn or develop in the same way a child not having these experiences will.

ACEs can therefore have a negative impact on development in childhood and this can in turn give rise to harmful behaviours, social issues and health problems in adulthood. There is now a great deal of research demonstrating that ACEs can negatively affect lifelong mental and physical health by disrupting brain and organ development and by damaging the body’s system for defending against diseases. The more ACEs a child experiences the greater the chance of health and/or social problems in later life.

The dates with remaining availability for sessions are:

20th November

1st December

11th December

These sessions are being delivered via Zoom.

There will also be a number of dates through January and February.

Find out more here.

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