LEONARDTOWN, MD (January 24, 2022) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has launched a new local data dashboard about adverse childhood experiences impacting community members. Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood, such as experiencing or witnessing violence, abuse, or neglect. A history of multiple ACEs has been linked to chronic health problems later in life, including mental illness and substance use, though protective factors such as youth mentoring may mitigate this risk.
The new ACEs dashboard will provide key data about the occurrence of ACEs in St. Mary’s County, including data related to household substance use, sexual abuse, household mental illness, incarcerated household members, parental separation or divorce, intimate partner violence, and emotional and/or physical abuse. The dashboard will also provide related community and provider resources.
“Two out of three adults in St. Mary’s County report that their lives have been impacted by adverse childhood experiences,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “We hope the new data dashboard will raise awareness of this public health issue and help our community work together to prevent ACEs and build resiliency.”