After hours/ Emergency Contact: 216-201-2000

5550 Venture Drive Parma, OH 44130 Business/After Hours: 216-201-2000 WE WANT YOUR OPINION
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 Program Contacts

April Vince MSSA, LSW
Program Manager
216.201.2000 ext 1538
Becky Karns, MPH
Program Manager
216.201.2000 ext 1607

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are preventable and potentially traumatic experiences that occur during childhood and may have a tremendous impact on future lifelong health and opportunity and puts us at risk for violence, chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance abuse in adulthood.

Examples of ACEs include experiencing violence, abuse or neglect, growing up in a household with parental conflict, and substance use or mental health problems in the home. As the number of adverse childhood experiences increases, so does the risk for negative health outcomes and risk behaviors.

Types of ACEs

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Strategy Plan

The ACE Pyramid
Children need safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments while they are growing which can affect the development of healthy relationships, behaviors, social outcomes and wellness. Unfortunately many children do not live in these types of environments or have nurturing relationships. Toxic stress from living in under-resourced or racially segregated neighborhoods, experiencing food insecurity, and having limited educational and economic opportunities can disrupt neurodevelopment.
Historical or ongoing trauma due to systemic racism and multigenerational poverty can also lead to social, emotional and cognitive impairment.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Violence Prevention

Impact of ACEs on some health outcomes

Click here to find local and state ACEs-related data



The Cuyahoga County Board of Health, A Vision of Change, Creating Greater Destinies and the ADAMHS Board have teamed up to launch this video series titled Our Stories, Our Healing as part of an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This series aims to raise awareness through storytelling by community members who have overcome traumas and found healing. Mental health, substance use disorders and domestic violence are a few of the topics that will be explored throughout the series.



What can be done?

There are protective factors that can decrease the possibility of experiencing ACEs, such as creating safe and stable relationships and environments for all children.

The presence of ACEs does not mean that a child will experience poor outcomes. A child’s positive experiences and protective factors will help protect our kids as they grow.

Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Leveraging the Best Available Evidence
This is a resource to help states and communities leverage the best available evidence to prevent ACEs from happening in the first place as well as lessen harms when ACEs do occur. It features six strategies drawn from the CDC Technical Packages to Prevent Violence.

Strengthen economic supports for families

Promote social norms that protect against violence and adversity

Ensure a strong start for children

Enhance skills to help parents and youths handle stress, manage emotions, and tackle everyday challenges

Connect youths to caring adults and activities

Intervene to lessen immediate and long-term harms


Experiencing trauma can lead people to substance misuse as a way to deal with anxiety, depression, and hopelessness.

The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)  study tells us that a person with 6 ACEs is 46 times more likely to develop a heroin-related substance use disorder than a person with no ACEs.

CCBH worked with local partners to help address and prevent ACEs and substance misuse/abuse.

  • The Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board of Cuyahoga County (ADAMHSCC) helped to build resilient kids in our community by training local law enforcement and school staff about the impacts of ACEs and creating awareness around how to support our local community.
  • Berea City School District is provided assessments of ACEs and resiliency to students and provided opportunities for engagement in supportive classes.
  • The Berea Police Department helped identify kids in our community that could benefit from extra support from their school.
  • Ohio Guidestone provided resiliency programming and mentorship to kids.
  • A Vision of Change, Creating Greater Destinies and the ADAMHSCC  have created a video series to raise awareness through storytelling by community members who have overcome traumas and found healing.

Other Resources & Links

The Link Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Later-Life Health Credit:  The MPH online program from Baylor University’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences

Credit: Danny DeBelius/NPR

What’s my ACE score and what does it mean? 


The Family Resource Guide offers help for families impacted by opioid addiction.

CCOTF is a county coalition that was established in 2010. With CCBH and ADAMHS serving as the lead agencies, the CCOTF supports greater public awareness of the opioid epidemic.

Members include more than 250 concerned citizens and dedicated professionals from partner agencies specializing in drug treatment/recovery, education, health care, law enforcement, medicine, prevention, mental health services, and public health.

The Task Force currently meets bi-monthly from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Meetings are open to new members. Please find more information here CCOTF meeting information