Trauma is a pervasive problem. It results from exposure to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being.
Experiences that may be traumatic include:
Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse
Living with a family member with mental health or substance use disorders
Sudden, unexplained separation from a loved one
Racism, discrimination, and oppression
Violence in the community, war, or terrorism
Although trauma can occur at any age, it has particularly debilitating long-term effects on children’s developing brains. Often referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), exposure to these experiences is common across all sectors of society: