HNH Foundation Addresses Childhood Trauma at its Annual Event

Bill Brown at HNH Foundation 2016 Annual EventPhoto (left to right): HNH Foundation President Gail Garceau welcomed keynote speaker Bill Brown to the Foundation’s Annual Event on September 20, 2016. They are joined by Board Chair Martha McLeod and Vice Chair Kathleen Crompton.

The HNH Foundation highlighted its new focus on the prevention of childhood trauma at its Annual Event on September 20th in Concord. In the keynote address, Bill Brown, co-owner of Confluence Behavioral Health pringfield, Vermont), examined current research that links exposure to childhood trauma and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with changes in the body that can impact both physical and mental health.

Brown cited experts in the field who believe that “Adverse Childhood Experiences are the single greatest unaddressed health care challenge facing our nation today.” The stress of childhood abuse, neglect and exposure to violence – called “toxic load” -- has a measurable impact on our bodies and brain development. He cited data that show that childhood trauma affects an individual’s overall life expectancy, often cut short by some 20 years.

Furthermore, Mr. Brown reported that research has established a correlation between exposure to violence, abuse, neglect, addictions and alcoholism to the current opioid crisis. Childhood trauma is also an economic issue, given the high cost of lost job productivity.

Mr. Brown spoke about the importance of improving our ability to be hopeful – to create a healthy and hopeful transition from childhood to adulthood that reduces toxic stress and builds resiliency, and he applauded the HNH Foundation for its leadership in funding programs with this goal.

According to HNH Foundation Board Chair Martha McLeod, “the Board has identified childhood trauma as a critical issue that affects the health and well-being of our most vulnerable children, often with lifelong consequences. The Foundation seeks to fund innovative approaches that strengthen protective factors and early intervention practices that help prevent childhood trauma and other Adverse Childhood Experiences.
 
View the Bill Brown's presentation here