Coalition hears about child trauma events

Published 4:23 am Friday, April 27, 2018

The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services heard a presentation from Mark Medina, a trained professional from the Louisiana Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Initiative on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial Church in Bogalusa.

Thirty-five people were in attendance. Highlights of the presentation showed that childhood experiences — both positive and negative — have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. ACEs have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential and early death.

“Something can be done about Adverse Childhood Experiences such as creating safe, stable and nurturing relationships,” Medina said. “Communities can add parenting programs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, intimate partner violence prevention and sufficient income support for low-income families.”

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is the term given to describe all types of abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences. The landmark Kaiser ACE Study examined relationships between these experiences during childhood and reduced health and well-being later in life. When the numbers of ACEs increase, risk outcomes increase such as lack of physical activity, smoking, alcoholism, drug use and missed work.

Physical and mental health issues may include severe obesity, depression, suicide attempts, diabetes, STDs, cancer, stroke, heart disease, broken bones and COPD.

The training attracted representatives from Washington Parish School System, Our Lady of Angels Hospital, Bogalusa Police Department, Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, Well Ahead, non profits, Washington Parish Youth Coalition and Head Start.

The next coalition meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 22, at ESM United Methodist Church from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. A pre-Coalition subcommittee meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. and will focus on prescription drug abuse and underage drinking. The community is invited to both meetings.

There is more information available about the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services by visiting or liking the coalition on Facebook at WPCHS. Find and follow the coalition on Twitter at or on Instagram at