Confronting Adverse Childhood Experiences to Improve Rural Kids’ Lifelong Health

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Montana ranks 5th in the nation for the percentage of population living in a rural area (44.1%), eclipsed only by Mississippi, West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine. And as you may know, Montana is the 4th largest state in the nation! There are so many great things about being such a rural state — the charm of small towns, the beauty of farms and ranches, the wide-open spaces, our majestic mountains, rivers, streams, and creeks; and of course, let’s not forget the higher-than-average childhood adversity. What?

That’s right. In a recent study published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, findings show that children living in rural areas have higher ACE scores (Adverse Childhood Experiences). You can read a first-hand take on this problem by Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Adrienne Coopey by clicking here.

Yes, Montana is a wonderful place to raise kiddos. But underneath the beauty and wonderment of this state, we must pay attention to the health and well-being of our children, youth, and families. ChildWise Institute presents and trains people all over Montana on the neuroscience of ACEs, toxic stress, and resilience; and our experience supports this report. We know this by collecting and aggregating ACE scores of the adults we train, and the comments we hear – especially in the rural areas of Montana.

Together, we truly can elevate the well-being and future of Montana’s children, youth, families, and communities. Get involved! Join the movement!

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