Childhood experiences, both good and bad, shape a child’s developing brain. Communities play a role in providing positive environments and preventing adversity.

Why Does Childhood Adversity Matter?

Adverse childhood experiences and environments are common. They include things like witnessing violence or experiencing discrimination.

If children don’t get support when facing adversity, it can cause long-lasting harm, undermining children’s emotional and physical health.

When children are exposed to severe adversity, and adults aren’t there to help them cope, their stress systems can over-activate. This “toxic stress response” increases the risk of later health problems. Yet children can tolerate severe stress -- if stable, responsive adult relationships are in place to buffer the negative impact.

Mom comforting daughter during adversity grabbing her face

How Early Adversity Impacts Children

In the late 1990s, a landmark study showed a powerful relationship between serious, negative events in childhood and people’s physical and mental health in adulthood.

Die Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study asked adult patients to report some potentially traumatic events that they may have experienced before age 18. Researchers asked specifically about 10 difficult experiences — things like witnessing or experiencing violence or living with a family member with a mental illness — and then looked to see how the number of ACEs tracked with adult health outcomes.

Some findings fit with what we might expect. For example, people who had experienced abuse or neglect as kids were more likely to have mental health challenges as adults.

But other findings were surprising — like the realization that the more early adversity a person experienced, the more effect it had in later life. One serious event in childhood seemed to have few or no long-term consequences. But multiple ACEs increased the risk of health problems in adulthood.

For example, children who experienced four adverse experiences were twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer than those who had no significant experiences of childhood trauma.

Is Adversity Common?

If you or your child have faced serious adversity, you’re not alone. Most people in Maryland have experienced at least one form of adversity by the time they are adults.

About 1 in 4 Maryland residents have experienced 3 or more ACEs, according to Der Maryland State Council zu Kindesmissbrauch und Vernachlässigung.

Call 9-8-8 for Mental Health Support

If you or your child have experienced serious adversity and you are concerned that it is affecting your health or mental health, call 9-8-8 for immediate help.

Sie können auch die durchsuchen state's most comprehensive behavioral health database (powered by 211) for support near you.

What Can Be Done?

As a state, we can promote health and well-being by taking steps to prevent adversity in the first place and offering support for people who have experienced adversity, especially children and the adults in their lives.

You can listen to Episode 17 of What's the 211? podcast to hear how Springboard Community Services is working with Grafschaft Harford to build a self-healing community that reduces incidences of adverse childhood experiences.

Dad and daughter looking at each other smiling
Dad talking to his child on park bench

211 Connects Parents to Support

Es braucht eine Community, um ACEs zu verhindern. Wirtschaftliche Unterstützung, positive Erziehung und hochwertige Betreuung und Bildung sind drei grundlegende Möglichkeiten, um dieses Trauma zu verhindern.  

211 unterstützt Eltern mit Ressourcen für Gehäuse, Stromrechnungen, Beschäftigung und Kinderbetreuung 

When you call 2-1-1, you'll talk to an Information and Referral Specialist who can help you identify the programs and resources that can provide support.

Sie können sich auch mit a verbinden Familien-Peer-Support-Programm oder ein anderes Eltern-Unterstützungsprogramm.

Textunterstützung für Jugendliche

MDYoungMinds ist ein Textunterstützungsprogramm für Teenager, das die Anliegen von Teenagern bespricht. Melden Sie sich an, indem Sie MDYoungMinds eine SMS an 898-211 schicken.

Wenn Sie oder jemand, den Sie kennen, sofortige Unterstützung benötigen, rufen Sie 988 an oder schreiben Sie eine SMS. Sie sprechen oder schreiben eine SMS mit jemandem bei der 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Online-Chats in Englisch und Spanisch sind ebenfalls verfügbar. 


Connect to brain-building tools

211 feels strongly about supporting Maryland families. We've teamed up with Maryland Essentials for Childhood (EFC) to connect grown-ups to the support they need.

As one of the backbone organizations, 211 is helping EFC connect the community to resources and support so children thrive.

EFC provides a brain-building toolkit to give grown-ups information on healthy development and the tools to support children and families. Learn about early and adolescent development, challenges to that development, resilience, protecting children through adversity and creating positive childhood experiences for healthy development.


Maryland Essentials for Childhood logo

Join a family peer support group

Sie können sich auch an die Maryland Coalition of Families wenden. Sie stellen Family Peer Support-Spezialisten zur Verfügung, die Familien dabei helfen können, sich in den Diensten zurechtzufinden, sich Anliegen anzuhören, an Treffen mit der Familie teilzunehmen, Rechte zu erklären, Kontakte zu knüpfen sowie Lern- und Outreach-Möglichkeiten anzubieten. 

Der Dienst ist kostenlos. Rufen Sie 410-730-8267 an und drücken Sie die 1, um sofortige Unterstützung zu erhalten. Du kannst auch Wenden Sie sich an den lokalen Peer-Support-Spezialisten in Ihrem Landkreis. 

MCF bietet auch Selbsthilfegruppen im ganzen Bundesstaat für Trauer, Drogenkonsum, Peer-Unterstützung und mehr. Finden Sie eine Selbsthilfegruppe in Maryland für Eltern, Betreuer oder junge Erwachsene. 

Sie können auch Ressourcen für verschiedene psychische Gesundheitsprobleme wie Trauma, ADHS und Depressionen im Children's Mental Health Matters Family Resource Kit finden, das in verfügbar ist Englisch und Spanisch.


Ressourcen finden