Five resources to help understand ACEs

ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, are potentially traumatic events that can impact a child through adulthood. The more ACEs a child has suffered, the more likely he or she is to develop a variety of adult conditions, ranging in severity from increased headaches to depression and heart disease.

So what can we do to help combat ACEs in our communities?

A crucial step is to start the conversation about childhood trauma and toxic stress. To do this, it is important to fully understand what ACEs are, what they mean for children and adults who have suffered through them, and how we can support those who need us.

Here are some tools that can be used to inform, aid and encourage people who are looking to start the conversation about ACEs:

1. ACE Score Quiz

The first step to becoming familiar with ACEs is to take the ACE Score Quiz. By taking this assessment, we can get a better look at what ACEs are, how they are evaluated, and the implications behind having a high ACE score.

2. ACES Snapshot

This interactive tool by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights strategies to prevent ACES.  Use it to explore the various prevention tactics, such as providing safe learning environments for children and building strong, comforting relationships.

3. ACES Infographic

Are you a visual learner? This infographic breaks down important facts and statistics. It allows you to see how many people are affected by ACEs each year, as well as the repercussions that can follow these children into adulthood.

4. ACES Connection

The ACEs Connection Website does just what it says: It connects you to different resources and information regarding the ACE initiative. You will find news articles, blog posts and events occurring around the country. This resource also provides state-specific information, with news and events relevant to your community.

5. SAMHSA Webpage

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a webpage dedicated to recognizing trauma and treatment. This webpage explains the types of trauma children face and treatment methods. Whether you are a health care professional, someone who works with kids, or someone who just wants to learn more about how to help eradicate the issue, this website has tips to combat ACEs in your community.

As you do your research it is important to remember that ACEs are preventable. These resources can be a helpful first step in starting a conversation about childhood trauma and preventative measures. By staying on top of the facts and utilizing our resources, we can become significant players in the fight against ACEs!


The MAHP Foundation received funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support the Creating Healing Communities: A Statewide Initiative to Address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Michigan. Learn more here.