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Brinkman Urges Governor to Declare State of Emergency to Address Adverse Childhood Experiences

November 23, 2021
Thomas E. Brinkman Jr. News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-27th District) last week introduced House Concurrent Resolution 14, urging Governor DeWine to declare a State of Emergency on Childhood Trauma to raise public awareness on identifying and treating conditions onset by toxic stress in childhood.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events that happen to children, as defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics. ACEs can include witnessing or experiencing abuse, facing household challenges and suffering emotional or physical neglect.

“Nearly 600,000 Ohio children have reported at least two ACEs,” said Brinkman. “Our children deserve better. They deserve to have resources available to cope with abuse, neglect and their traumatic home lives, and H.C.R. 14 will bring us one step closer to providing those resources.” 

Brinkman also noted long-term negative effects due to ACEs. These experiences are likely to play out in behaviors such as smoking and alcohol abuse and not finishing high school. The diseases associated with ACEs include heart disease, diabetes, depression, and have a higher rate of dying by suicide. Additionally, according to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, children of low incomes, disabilities or who reside in urban or Appalachian counties, are most susceptible to experiencing multiple ACEs.

Joint sponsor of H.C.R. 14, State Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati), also noted the costly economic and social impact on families and our communities totaling hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

“Up to 1.9 million cases of heart disease and 21 million cases of depression could have been potentially avoided by preventing ACEs,” said Denson. “We must generate awareness and place greater emphasis on if we want to address the root causes of childhood trauma and ensure Ohio is a state where our youth can thrive.”

H.C.R. 14 now awaits additional hearings in the House Behavioral Health and Recovery Supports Committee.