Time to act.
Time to make history.
Time to end childhood trauma.
Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, doesn't just impact the majority of our young children in New Mexico. The trauma associated with ACEs affects students of all ages: from kindergarten through high school; even following many teens as they struggle with college.
For our children, trauma results from experiences of: physical and emotional neglect; physical, emotional and sexual abuse; and living in households where adults misuse substances, have mental health challenges, are violent to partners, parents are separated, or a family member is incarcerated.
Untreated trauma also impacts parents AND caregiving grandparents – creating a cycle of abuse and neglect that passes from generation to generation.
We know that across New Mexico, our most vulnerable parents who have endured ACEs themselves, have not found the help they need to break the cycle of trauma. Their frustration and emotional pain often leads to the misuse of alcohol, prescription drugs and other substances. As the federal government earmarks billions for the opioid crisis, we need your help to make our state leaders understand that in many ways, New Mexico's ACEs epidemic has led directly to the epidemic of substance misuse.
To address the opioid crisis we need to address ACEs.
Fortunately, we know how to prevent and treat ACEs. We know how to support family members struggling with trauma. We know how to create systems of safety in every county, ensuring that New Mexicans of all ages are treated with compassion and empowered to succeed in family life, school and the workplace.
We have the data, the technology and the collaborative plan of action to make the solution a reality. We must be united in order to address this complex challenge that has made New Mexico one most unsafe states to be a child (according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count yearly report).
To end the root causes of ACEs, we propose establishing the Anna, Age Eight Institute guided by the book Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment.
New Mexico State Senator Bill Soules and Representative Gail Armstrong have created the bipartisan bill SB 370 to create a groundbreaking program benefiting New Mexicans in all 33 counties. If passed, the bill will allow Northern New Mexico College to sponsor the institute which will work closely with all partners within the state’s higher education system.
With your help, New Mexico can demonstrate to the nation how courageous and compassionate leadership ensures safe childhoods, successful students and empowered families.
If there was ever a time for our state to be united in a common mission resulting in the health, safety and success of every child – that time is NOW.
Call or email your senator and state representative to support this groundbreaking initiative that will turn New Mexico into a national model for ensuring safe childhoods.
For questions or to help establish the Anna, Age Eight Institute, please email us at email@example.com.
The Anna, Age Eight Institute is guided by the strategies presented in the book Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment by Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello. You can download the book free-of-charge here: www.AnnaAgeEight.org/anna.