Children and youth are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of toxic stress and trauma.
Persistent Stress damages health & well-being
Toxic stress is caused by the body’s reaction to a perceived threat, prompting the “fight or flight” response. The emergency response hormones adrenaline and cortisol are then released. When the stress response is activated, it can help us get out of the way of a threatening situation. However, it is when the body becomes overtaxed by repeated exposure to intense chronic stress that it becomes damaging to ones health and well-being.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) create lifelong challenges
Research indicates that high levels of emergency hormones can lead to changes in the structure and function of developing brains and bodies. Repeated exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), such as childhood physical and emotional abuse or neglect, violence in the home, household dysfunction, parental mental illness, substance abuse, parental separation, are all considered risk factors. Exposure to ACEs can subject children and youth to challenges such as learning difficulties, emotional problems, developmental issues, and a multitude of health complications.
Recognizing the impact of toxic stress and ACEs is important to EmpowerMind. We are invested in a preventative and proactive health approach to support children and youth manage stress in their lives.