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Home » Mental Health » Together in Healing: From Childhood Trauma to Celebrating Strengths

Community connection and resources help address the impacts of childhood trauma and support healing journeys, break cycles, and strengthen families.

Our experiences as children can affect the way we feel and function throughout our lives. While early adversity or trauma can have lasting effects on our health and well-being, healing is possible — especially when we connect with others for strength and resources. Community is a key component in addressing the effects of childhood trauma, and in preventing harm for the next generation as we learn new ways to help kids and families thrive.

Adverse childhood experiences, known as ACEs, are stressful, potentially traumatic events or circumstances that happen before age 18, and include experiences such as abuse, neglect, caregiver divorce, and having a household member with a substance use issue. ACEs and other childhood adversity — like poverty, discrimination, or community violence — can cause a toxic stress response that alters children’s developing brains and bodies. This is more likely to happen when caregivers and environments don’t have the resources to help children process stress in the ways they need.

The more ACEs we experience, the greater our risk for serious physical and mental health conditions — including depression, suicidal thoughts and actions, asthma, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. We’re more likely to have problems with learning and behavior, and later with careers and relationships. The effects of our early adversity can be passed down to future generations.

However, there is great reason to hope. Research shows that increased awareness, early support, and evidence-based interventions can reduce negative impacts, and that prevention, treatment, and healing are possible. We can disrupt patterns we’ve inherited, and change our own trajectories and those of generations to come. Positive experiences also affect our health and our paths, and legacies of strength and resiliency are powerful influences we can both inherit and instill.

Together in Healing

To spur hope and celebrate community care in addressing childhood adversity, ACE Resource Network is sharing its Together in Healing campaign. Its online landing page, available in English and Spanish, offers an array of healing activities and evidence-based strategies for stress reduction. The site offers insightful prompts and activities for exploring our stories, taking on today’s challenges, and building hope and creating joy — all through a welcoming lens that affirms we are not alone by encouraging community connection and solidarity.

“We believe the role of community in preventing, addressing, and healing from ACEs and other childhood adversity and their impacts is not only powerful but essential,” said Sarah Marikos, M.P.H., executive director of ACE Resource Network.

For those of us navigating the impacts of a tough childhood, a network of support is vital as we heal and grow. Together in Healing offers collections of resources curated for empowering people to find the help they seek.

While healing from childhood trauma can feel like something we have to face alone, sometimes a simple conversation can be the start of feeling better. Many of us have found that the best place to start our healing journeys, or to move forward when we’re stuck, is to share what we’re going through with someone we trust — whether that’s a friend, a partner, a healthcare provider, or another member of our community. Sharing our stories with each other and seeking help when we need it — or offering help to others in need — can make a world of difference.

Visit to learn more, help spread the word, and join this vital movement to help make lasting change — together.

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