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May 10, 2024
hpio news

Graphic of the week: Mental health and social connections among Ohio students


May is Mental Health Awareness Month and data from the Ohio Department of Health shows that Ohio students who experience more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are less likely to have social connections, an important protective factor that can buffer children and families from the well-documented harmful effects of toxic stress and adversity and contribute to better overall mental health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “When people are socially connected and have stable and supportive relationships, they are more likely to make healthy choices and to have better mental and physical health outcomes. They are also better able to cope with hard times, stress, anxiety, and depression.”
As illustrated above, just one in four Ohio students with four or more ACEs reported feeling like they could most of the time or always talk to an adult in their life about their feelings. About three in four students with no ACEs reported having a trusted adult to whom they could talk. Students with more ACEs were also less likely to report having a trusted friend.
As part of its ongoing ACEs work, last year HPIO released a policy brief on building skills and strengthening connections to caring adults. “Increasing these protective factors can lead to stronger families, better health, educational and employment outcomes and benefits to society at large,” the brief stated.

Upcoming ACEs event

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio is partnering with Franklin County Public Health to host a two-part event focused on preventing and mitigating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

Register here