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Are you ACE aware?

In 2016 Public Health Wales published a series of reports into Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) ( earlier this year Welsh Government provided funding for an ACE hub to tackle the negative impact of ACEs.

ACEs are traumatic experiences that occur before the age of 18 and are remembered, in both the conscious and unconscious, throughout adulthood. These experiences range from suffering verbal, mental, sexual and physical abuse, to being raised in a household where domestic violence, alcohol abuse, parental separation or drug abuse is present.

The ACE report revealed that around one in seven adults aged 18-69 in Wales had experienced 4 or more ACEs during their childhood and just under half had experienced at least one. Children who are growing up with ACEs are experiencing excessively high levels of stress known as toxic stress. Toxic stress affects both the brain and the body and has a negative impact on both current and future health and well-being. Providing safe and nurturing environments for every child is the best way to ensure that we mitigate against the negative impact of ACEs. Training opportunities are available across the region to support school staff in understanding the impact of toxic stress. For more details contact the training coordinator Sara Walters:


  • A short film has been produced to raise public awareness about ACEs   (
  • A webinar has been arranged by the Welsh Audit Office on November 7 2017 from 12-13.30. Email to register: