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NM/AZ have highest rates of adverse childhood experiences; more $ needs to be spend

Feb 13, 2018, Albuquerque Journal: New Mexico kids highest in nation for ACEs https://www.abqjournal.com/1133224/new-mexico-kids-highest-in-nation-for-aces.html New Mexico and Arizona tie as the states with the highest rates of children suffering from adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. The two states have an ACE rate of 18 percent … ACEs are traumatic childhood events that include abuse and neglect, living with someone who has an untreated mental illness, the death of a parent, and living in extreme economic insecurity. “When children experience more than one of these traumatic events they can end up suffering from toxic stress, which releases hormones into the brain that actually disrupt healthy brain development, according to scientific research,” said Sharon Kayne, spokeswoman for New Mexico Voices for Children. … “We now know that children who experience multiple ACEs can end up with lifelong physical and mental health consequences. They are less likely to do as well in school because they just can’t concentrate. … And prevention can be greatly aided by expansion of state-supported voluntary home visiting programs, he said, encouraging state legislators to fund that expansion by approving an additional 1 percent allocation from the state’s multibillion-dollar Land Grant Permanent Fund. “Some lawmakers say they want to save the permanent fund for the future, but if today’s babies aren’t the future of this state, what is?” Jimenez said. … Home visiting programs generally involve having a trained health worker visit homes to teach parents about child development stages and how to handle typical parenting frustrations, Kayne said. In addition, the health worker can help screen parents for things like postpartum depression, child abuse, the risk of domestic violence and extreme food insecurity, and then help the families find resources and programs to deal with these situations. …