Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Fund

Program, Research

A fund ready for donors. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Fund will assist programs dedicated to preventing the causes of Adverse Childhood Experiences that lead to mental health challenges and will partner with existing organizations to increase the availability of care for children that addresses trauma, builds resiliency and does not rely on prescription drugs.

Where the problem lies

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.

The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death, including addiction, heart, lung and liver disease, depression and ongoing family dysfunction and abuse, as well as social, emotional and cognitive impairment that causes isolation and mental health challenges.

Help is on the way

There is a great wealth of untapped data and under-utilized knowledge that could help those with childhood trauma to find recovery and wellness.

Get helpful research into the right hands

Donations to the ACEs Prevention Fund would make possible the publication of valuable resources like these by Drs. Michael Murphy and Lee Baer at Massachusetts General Hospital:

“Alternative approaches to treating attention problems in children: The state of the evidence for higher and lower medication approaches in the US and the UK”
Estimated Cost to finish and submit: $12,500

“Evidence for and against the use of atypical antipsychotic medications with children”
Estimated Cost to finish and submit: $25,000

“An evidence based approach to a more judicious use of psychotropic medication with children”  This paper would  show how scores on our widely used measure of psychosocial functioning (the PSC) could be used to classify children with attention or depression problems into mild, moderate, and severe types and then used to explore the appropriateness of medications at each level, outcomes for each of these groups, and the use of change scores on the PSC to ascertain true gains of treatment.
Estimated cost to submit a paper for publication: $25,000

“Changes in functioning of children with attention and depression problems treated with and without medication:” Comparisons of large samples from Chile and the US.”  This  project would be to analyze data from a 20,000 case sample from Chile in which the PSC was completed by parents of students when they were in first grade and again two years later when they were in third grade. Preliminary analyses have shown that rates of improvement in PSC scores (overall and in specific areas like depression and attention problems) in this large, untreated sample are comparable to the rates of improvement on the PSC in large samples in child psychiatry in the US at MGH (N=2,000) and in large pediatric samples from upper middle class suburbs of Boston (N=10,000). If, as preliminary analyses show, the rates of improvement in cases of depression and attention problems in treated cases in the US are no better than the rates found among untreated cases in Chile (virtually none of the children receive medication or talk therapy), it will make it easier to justify behavioral rather than medication based intervention strategies as a first step in helping children with these problems.
Estimated cost to submit a paper for publication: $25,000

Partner with Effective Child-Serving Organizations

Evidence-based programs like Family Building Blocks for early childhood and parenting education, nurse home visiting, Iron Tribe support for families post-incarceration, and after school programs support children and parents to succeed and build resiliency. The ACEs Fund will partner with such organizations to enhance their knowledge of mental health recovery practices and to make their programs more widely available in the community.

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