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McHenry County ACE Welcome Page

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Please do your part in fostering a Healthy Community by Hosting or Attending an ACE Interface Training. Sign up here at: https://mchenrycountyace.org/

 

Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. (SAMHSA)

A few short months ago, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a proclamation recognizing May 15, 2019 as Trauma-Informed Awareness Day in Illinois. The proclamation mentions that addressing the effects of trauma in children, youth, adults and families today is fundamental to the future of Illinois.

To support the McHenry County Mental Health Board in leading McHenry County in its journey to become Trauma Informed, the Mental Health Board partnered with Health & Medicine Policy Research Group. Health & Medicine Policy Research Group is proud to be a founding member of the Illinois Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Response Collaborative and to work with diverse partners to reduce ACEs and promote healing and wellness in the community.

The Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative represents a broad range of organizations, thought and practice leaders, and agencies—from academic institutions and community foundations to private and public partners—committed to expanding the understanding of the impact of childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on the health and well-being of Illinois children and their communities.

A landmark study conducted in 1995 by Drs. Robert Anda and Vincent Felitti in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente first uncovered the connection between ACEs—experiences of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction before the age of 18—on adults’ health outcomes, finding that high ACE exposure can reduce a person’s life span by almost 20 years. ACEs appear to be a root cause of many of our most challenging health and social problems from smoking, to substance abuse, obesity, heart disease, low birth weight, unemployment, depression, and suicide. Further exacerbating this problem, without adequate family intervention and support, ACEs appear to be transmitted from one generation to the next.

The Trauma-Informed McHenry County initiative includes involvement of local leaders from various established coalitions, taskforces and institutions such as Mental Health Board facilitated stakeholder groups, Network Council, Family Violence Coordinating Council, Substance Abuse Coalition, Suicide Prevention Taskforce, McHenry County Department of Public Health, and Northwestern Medicine establishing working groups and facilitating widespread training, all of which are intended to root the trauma-informed change process in the community itself, ensuring that the community’s needs are prioritized and that McHenry County is equipped to sustain this journey.

The process also includes training 30+ local individuals as Presenters of the ACE Interface Model and Curriculum. The ACE Interface Program is designed to support rapid dissemination of ACE and resilience science, and promote understanding and application of the science to improve health and wellbeing across the lifespan.  Training individuals from various sectors delivers ACE information to diverse communities--with fidelity to science and concepts--to tens of thousands of people.

Research shows an undeniable link between childhood adversity and community health indicators, such as poverty, crime, poor educational outcomes, chronic illness, behavioral health problems and more.