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Much of the dialogue around mental health is medicalised and built around the paradigm of psychiatric diagnosis.

There are alternative ways of making sense of emotional distress and we believe it’s important to share this information so that you are able to make the choices you believe are best for you.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Mental Health

We welcome the emphasis within recent research in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on the importance of community connections in creating healing-focussed support for people who have been exposed to ACEs as well as the evident call for trauma-informed public services.

ACEs are identified as traumatic experiences that occur before the age of 18 which can impact across the life course. Findings from a national study across Wales demonstrated that adults who had suffered four or more types of ACE were almost 10 times more likely to have felt suicidal or self-harmed than those who had experienced none.

The study by Public Health Wales and Bangor University found that some simple community measures can help to build resilience which can help protect individuals from developing the mental health issues that ACEs can cause.

“Developing resilience through access to a trusted adult in childhood, supportive friends and being engaged in community activities, such as sports, reduced the risks of developing mental illness; even in those who experienced high levels of ACEs.”

“Overall having supportive friends, opportunities for community participation, people to look up to and other sources of resilience in childhood more than halved current mental illness in adults with four or more ACEs from 29 per cent to 14 per cent, and ever having felt suicidal or self-harmed from 39 per cent to 17 per cent.”

This evidences just how important community is in managing mental health issues and how engaging in and feeling a valued part of a community can help people to overcome and manage their struggles with mental health towards a positive recovery.

Platfform’s work focusses on connecting people to their local communities, looking for opportunities for people to build their self-esteem and confidence through shared community efforts and experiences.