Informative TED talk illuminates how childhood trauma affects mental and physical health
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a medical doctor in San Francisco, California, has become an advocate for training medical professionals in something called Trauma Informed Care. In an informative TED talk, Harris shares important research she learned about early in her career which inspired her interest in studying the effect of trauma on physical and mental health. The turning point for Harris was learning about the ACE study.
In the ACE study, Kaiser Permanente surveyed thousands of patients’ medical records and found a clear link between what they termed Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and poor mental and physical health outcomes later in life.
Learning about this research changed Harris’ practice. She realized that addressing the effects of trauma on children could be effective at preventing serious health issues later in life. She started the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco to provide outreach and care to children and families from economically underprivileged areas. Harris also speaks nationally and internationally trying to raise awareness of the deleterious effects of trauma on health.
One finding of the ACEs study is that ACEs are very common. Most people have at least 1 or 2 ACEs. You can take the ACE’s quiz yourself to find your own trauma score. If you have a high ACE score or a lot of trauma in your past, you might benefit from counseling. In Wayne County, counseling resources include Catholic Charities of Wayne County (315-331-4867) and Wayne County Behavioral Health (315- 946-5722).
Here is Dr. Harris’ TED talk.
Here is her non-profit with more information about the ACEs study.