Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Community Resilience Initiative 


🌟 Exciting News! 🌟

Macon Mental Health Matters is hosting a community report out at City Hall to uncover key findings from the Macon-wide ACEs study so we can understand the impact of adverse childhood experiences on our community. They’ll share information on our community wide ACEs score, common themes, and more. Don't miss out on this crucial conversation. Together, we can create a healthier, more resilient Macon! 🌱

Have you taken the ACEs survey yet? 💭 If not, scroll down and help us make a difference!

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are more than just statistics; they are profound events that can shape the trajectory of an individual's life, influencing mental health, physical well-being, and overall quality of life. At Macon Mental Health Matters (MMHM), our study goes beyond traditional surveys by offering a comprehensive, trauma-informed approach to understanding and addressing the impact of ACEs. What sets us apart is our dedication to not only collecting data but also providing participants with empowering tools, practical mental health techniques, and personalized support through our unique “Teranga” counseling sessions. By participating in our study, you are not just contributing to vital research; you are joining a community committed to healing and resilience. Experience the difference with MMHM, where your story matters, and your participation can lead to transformative change for yourself and others. Join us in making a meaningful impact and be part of a supportive network that truly understands and values your experiences.



Interested in partnering with us?

Please complete this form with the contact information of a designated point person and select how you'd like to contribute to this initiative! 

If you're interested in delving deeper into partnership opportunities or have any inquiries, feel free to schedule a meeting with Marrow Woods, one of our project interns. We're eager to explore the potential for collaboration and the chance to create a significant difference in our community.

Interested in taking the survey independently?

If you have any questions, email adverlyn@thesoutherncenterforchoicetheory.com

Interested in an in person option instead?

At MMHM, every hour counts, and every story matters. Schedule a time to meet with us in person and contribute your story to our study.

If you have any questions, email marrow@thesoutherncenterforchoicetheory.com

Data for Georgia

Leading contributors to ACEs score for Macon

Experiences that you had no control over could affect your ACEs score.

Childhood experiences in the family environment:

Experiences in the community environment:

Community Risk Factors

Healthy People 2030, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved from https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/social-determinants-health

Community Protective Factors

Bringing the Five Protective Factors to Life, One Place. Retrieved from https://www.oneplaceonslow.org/blog/bringing-the-five-protective-factors-to-life/

Frequently Asked Questions

The ACEs test measures the number of adverse childhood experiences you may have had before the age of 18. These experiences can include various forms of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, such as having a parent with mental illness, substance abuse problems, or experiencing parental separation or divorce.

Adverse experiences include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, emotional and physical neglect, and household challenges like domestic violence, substance abuse, parental mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and having an incarcerated family member.

2. Purpose and Benefits

Taking the ACEs test can help you understand how your childhood experiences might have impacted your current mental and physical health. It can be a useful tool for identifying potential areas where you may benefit from support or intervention to improve your overall well-being.

Knowing your ACEs score can provide insight into potential risk factors for chronic health conditions, mental health issues, and behavioral problems. It can also inform decisions about seeking professional help and guide you in taking proactive steps to address past trauma.

3. Content and Structure

The test includes questions about experiences related to physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and various forms of household dysfunction. Examples include questions about whether you were ever verbally or physically abused, if you experienced neglect, or if there was domestic violence in your home.

The ACEs test typically takes approximately 20 minutes minutes to complete, as it mainly consists of a short series of yes or no questions regarding your experiences before the age of 18.

4. Confidentiality and Privacy

Your ACEs is private, and who has access to it depends on where and how you take the test. If taken in a clinical or research setting, professionals may have access, but they are bound by confidentiality agreements. If you take the test privately, you control who sees your results.

If you take the test through interviews by a mental health professional, they are required to follow strict confidentiality laws and regulations to protect your personal data. Asynchronous surveys will provide information about its privacy policies and how they safeguard your information.

5. Implications of results

A high ACEs score can indicate a greater risk for various health and social issues, including chronic diseases, mental health problems, and difficulties with substance use. However, it does not guarantee that you will experience these issues; it simply highlights potential risks.

A high ACEs score can be associated with an increased risk for conditions such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, and substance abuse. The stress from adverse childhood experiences can have long-term effects on both mental and physical health. 

6. Follow-Up Actions

If you have a high ACEs score, consider seeking support from a healthcare professional, mental health counselor, or support group. They can help you address past trauma, develop coping strategies, and improve your overall health and well-being.

Yes, there are many resources available, including therapy, support groups, educational materials, and community programs. We have recommend appropriate services, and there are many online resources and organizations dedicated to supporting individuals with high ACEs scores.

7. Emotional impact

Reflecting on past traumatic experiences can be emotionally challenging and may trigger distress or uncomfortable memories. It’s important to be prepared for these feelings and to have a plan for emotional support if needed.

If you feel distressed, consider talking to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional. Engaging in self-care activities, such as relaxation exercises, can also help. If you feel overwhelmed, seek professional support to address your emotional needs.

8. Interpretation and Use

The ACEs score is a count of how many types of adverse experiences you have had. Higher scores suggest a greater risk for negative health outcomes, but they do not determine your future. Many people with high scores thrive by seeking support and developing resilience.

The ACEs test is not a diagnostic tool but rather a way to identify risk factors that may contribute to mental health issues. A comprehensive evaluation by a qualified professional is necessary for diagnosing any mental health conditions.

9. Relevance and Applicability

The ACEs test is relevant for anyone, as it helps to understand the impact of childhood experiences on current health and behavior. However, it may be particularly useful for those who have experienced trauma or are dealing with health or psychological issues.

The ACEs test does not directly account for individual resilience or coping mechanisms, but it highlights risk factors. Understanding your score in the context of your own resilience and support systems can provide a more comprehensive view of your health.

10. Professional Guidance

The choice of asynchronous survey or in-person survey is up to you. It can be beneficial to take the test with professional guidance, especially if you have concerns about the emotional impact of reflecting on past trauma. Professionals can help interpret the results and provide appropriate support.

Healthcare providers, mental health counselors, social workers, and support group facilitators are all professionals who can help you understand your ACEs score and guide you in taking positive steps for your health and well-being.