Childhood Trauma: Understand and Minimize the Impact
You may have found the photos and recordings of children separated from their parents at the border due to the recent immigration policy distressing. While many of us instinctively feel that children should be with their parents, there is also good evidence that shows such childhood separation can have long-term public health consequences. That’s why over 13,000 mental health professionals, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association stepped up with many others to voice their concerns for the children, putting an end to such a practice. This month’s tool highlights the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) questionnaire, a measure used in one of the largest investigations of childhood traumas. It found direct accumulative effects of childhood stressors not only to long-term mental health, but physical health outcomes, including depression, heart disease, alcohol abuse, chronic health issues and early death. We’ll briefly explore why this may be the case and what we can do about it.
Ellen Lee, LMHC
Clinical Director and Counselor