Jo. Co. Trauma Informed Coalition

Building a Resilient Community

Johnson County Trauma Informed Community Coalition

Create a resilient and self-sustaining community compassionately focused on improving the quality of life for all of its members
Bridge together all community members and entities in Johnson County that provide services in order to prevent, identify, and address adversity while supporting resiliency efforts.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
ACEs are adverse childhood experiences that harm children’s developing brains so profoundly that the effects show up decades later; they cause much of chronic disease, most mental illness, and are at the root of most violence.

“ACEs” comes from the CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, a groundbreaking public health study that discovered that childhood trauma leads to the adult onset of chronic diseases, depression and other mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence. The ACE Study has published about 70 research papers since 1998. Hundreds of additional research papers based on the ACE Study have also been published.

The 10 ACEs the researchers measured:

— Physical, sexual and verbal abuse.

— Physical and emotional neglect.

— A family member who is:

      • depressed or diagnosed with other mental illness;

      • addicted to alcohol or another substance;

      •  in prison.

— Witnessing a mother being abused.

— Losing a parent to separation, divorce or other reason.

Of course, there are many other types of childhood trauma — such as witnessing a sibling being abused, witnessing violence outside the home, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, being bullied by a classmate or teacher – but only 10 types were measured. They provide a useful marker for the severity of trauma experienced. Other types of trauma may have a similar impact.

Addressing ACES Offers Public Health Opportunities

  • ACES are the most preventable cause of serious mental illness.
  • ACES are the most preventable causes of drug and alcohol abuse in women.
  • ACES are the most preventable causes of HIV high-risk behavior (IV drugs, promiscuity).
  • ACES are a significant contributor to leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, suicide).


How Childhood Trauma AffectsHealth Over a Lifetime (TED Talk by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris)