Leaders from government, education, and mental health and social services say there is a growing consensus to attack the root causes of Oklahoma’s extraordinary rates of incarceration, divorce, child abuse, heart disease and cancer deaths.
This is the final part of the Tulsa World's 8-day Breaking the Cycle series, where we looked at the science behind Adverse Childhood Experiences, examined some of those suffering from them and looked at ways to address the problem.
Part 8: What the leading voices for change say Oklahoma needs to reduce chronic childhood traumas
What is your ACE score and what does it mean? Understanding the consequences of childhood trauma
Oklahoma ranks high for several social ills that have been linked to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scores. A few examples:
Part 1: The science is well established and should come as no surprise
'I've been there. I know.' Oklahoma's children top the nation in trauma suffered, and one survivor is doing his part to stop it
Part 2: Soda, cigarettes and trauma: How Adverse Childhood Experiences alter brain chemistry, cultivate unhealthy habits and prompt premature death
An adult to trust. Tulsa grief therapist Jessica Orvis turns child counseling into art form
Part 3: 'All I ever knew.' Drugs. Alcohol. Jail. Oklahoma's children repeat the patterns of their parents
She was always there. A court-appointed child advocate forms 20-year bond with two sisters
Part 4: For many trauma survivors, the key is breaking down what happened to them. That’s what therapy and mental health programs like the Mental Health Association of Tulsa’s Walker Hall can do
Tulsa elementary school gymnasium feels more like sanctuary thanks to caring teacher
Part 5: After losing seven students in a tornado-stricken Moore elementary school, a counselor is helping Oklahoma schools become trauma-informed
One school district is leading the state and nation in approach to serving students grappling with chronic stressors
Central High School teacher advocated for Aylin Reyes once, now she advocates for children
Part 6: How a Tulsa real estate agent became Mama Linda to foster children
Part 7: Central High School football coach calls strenuous work with at-risk students 'the most rewarding experience of my life'
Tulsa World ACEs advisory board
Kristin Atchley uses past trauma to advocate for children dealing with adverse conditions
Michael Overall: Does Oklahoma have a problem too big to solve?
Ginnie Graham: Oklahoma can be a top 10 state if it reduced children experiencing trauma
Podcast: Listen to story behind the Tulsa World special report on Adverse Childhood Experiences
The latest episode of Mental Health Association Oklahoma's podcast "The Mental Health Download" tells the story behind the Tulsa World's 8-part series Breaking the Cycle.
The podcast, hosted by Matt Gleason with the Mental Health Association Oklahoma, includes interviews with three people who played key roles in the series.
Lucinda Morte is a mental health professional who has a relatively high ACE score herself.
Donavon Ramsey is a resilient 19-year-old with a high ACE score and plenty of heartbreaking stories.
Ashley Parrish, the Tulsa World’s deputy managing editor who oversaw the year-long process to make the Breaking the Cycle series a reality.
"The Mental Health Download" shares stories each month about mental illness, homelessness, incarceration and suicide, and how each can impact our lives in a profound way.
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Children exposed to trauma often exhibit learning difficulties, depression and poor decision-making in the classroom, plus higher rates of absences, decreased reading abilities and lower graduation rates when compared to their peers.