To the editor,

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are serious childhood traumas that result in toxic stress that can harm a child’s brain. This toxic stress may prevent a child from learning, from playing in a healthy way with other children, and can result in long-term health problems.

Trauma is a public health problem that impacts families across all walks of life. We understand the deep and long-lasting impact that childhood trauma can have across the life span, and the Health Department supports innovative strategies that prevent toxic stress or lessen its effects on children and their families.

Recently approximately 30 key stakeholders from Oswego County came together to form the Oswego County Trauma Informed Care Collaborative as a way to expand their knowledge on the impact of trauma and trauma informed care practices, and to take resources and skills learned back to their agencies to help transform Oswego County into a Trauma-Informed Community. Champions from each agency participated in a seven-month program provided by the Institute on Trauma and Trauma Informed Care, which is part of the University of Buffalo School of Social Work and Buffalo Center for Social Research. This initiative was made possible by the Oswego County Health Department in partnership with Integrated Community Planning with funding from the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York.

Trauma informed care is a way of shifting thinking from “what’s wrong with you?” to “what’s happened to you?” with the understanding that trauma is pervasive and can have lasting effects, such as increasing ones risk for substance use, depression, heart disease, suicide attempts, and unintended pregnancies. “By modifying the way services are planned and delivered, Oswego County agencies will be in a better position to create a trauma – informed and resilient community,” explained Christina Wilson, Executive Director for Integrated Community Planning.

Anyone who would like more information about Adverse Childhood Experiences or who want to get involved in the Trauma Informed Care Collaborative may contact Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or Integrated Community Planning at 315-343-2344.

Brandy Koproski

Oswego

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