NHS Health Scotland has launched a new animation to raise awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences, also known as ACEs.
ACEs are stressful events that occur in childhood and can a have lifelong impact on health and behaviour, such as:
- domestic violence
- parental abandonment through separation or divorce
- a parent with a mental health condition
- being the victim of abuse (physical, sexual and/or emotional)
- being the victim of neglect (physical and emotional)
- a member of the household being in prison
- growing up in a household in which there are adults experiencing alcohol and drug use problems
Compared to people with no ACEs, those with four or more are more likely to have conditions such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes, or to drink, smoke or take drugs. We also know that people living in the most deprived areas have a higher risk of ACEs, so preventing them should be seen in the wider context of tackling societal inequalities.