What is the impact of trauma?

Unfortunately early trauma experienced through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is an extremely common occurrence, and new research studies are increasingly showing the developmental and neurological delays and damage that can result and that are causally linked to negative effects in later childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

In addition to these links, evidence points to an enhanced level of risk taking behaviour, such as smoking, substance misuse and early sexual activity, which are also likely to have a detrimental effect on health.

However, as well as mental and physical health problems, (for example, COPD, heart and auto immune diseases), there are a number of social consequences, as ACEs survivors are over represented in homelessness and Criminal Justice Services.

While prevention and early intervention are the best approaches to minimising negative impact, the provision of trauma informed care also acts to break the cycle through introducing the environmental conditions for healing to take place as well as avoiding repeat traumatisation.

The consequences of trauma can affect people’s ability to successfully access the care, support and treatment they require in a range of settings, (for example, physical health, mental health, education, justice, employment and housing)
— NHS Education for Scotland