#BIPOCMentalHealthMonth: Is Racial Trauma an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE)?

Hi friends! Happy #BIPOCMentalHealthMonth #MinorityMentalHealthMonth! July is Minority/BIPOC Mental Health Month and I am excited to share with you all a video on racial trauma. Like, share, subscribe, comment!!!! 🙂

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Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, are among the most researched and recognized foundations to understanding child psychopathology and the origins and manifestations of psychopathology across the lifespan. ACEs describe disadvantageous events or situations in one’s childhood that negatively can have detrimental effects on physical and psychological health and well-being (Felitti, 2009). Physically, exposure to ACEs has been linked to diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease (Center for Disease Control, 2020; Crouch et al., 2019). Mentally, adverse childhood events have been connected to an increased likelihood of developing several psychological disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders (van der Feltz-Cornelis et al., 2019). ACEs have also been linked to an increased likelihood of committing violent crimes, and increased rates of involvement in the juvenile justice system as 90% of youth in juvenile correctional facilities have experienced at least one ACE (Freeze, 2019; Grissom & Iroku-Malize, 2019). Currently, ACEs are divided into four major categories: physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction (Dong et al., 2004).

Experiences of racism or racial trauma, and race-related stress are not officially recognized ACE despite evidenced knowledge that exposure to racism, in particular, is correlated with increased stress levels (Peters, 2006), accelerated aging (Carter et al., 2019; Gee et al., 2019), and a variety of other mental health disparities in BIPOC populations (Jackson et al., 2010; Miranda et al., 2008). Given the proven adverse health outcomes of chronic trauma, including racism-induced distress, this video seeks to a) provide a brief overview of the history of ACEs and b) qualify the expansion of ACEs to include experiences of racism and racial trauma.

Source: Youtube