The Monroe County Office of Mental Health (MCOMH) and CCSI have recently partnered to create an information resource about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) using local Monroe County data.  Our intention is to further educate our community about the prevalence of ACEs, how ACEs affect the behaviors and health of our youth and how development of protective factors can improve their lives.  The data points selected and methods to communicate them were carefully considered to make this a meaningful resource for a wide audience.  Our hope is that sharing this analysis will continue to inspire collaboration and action in our community to give our youth every opportunity to thrive and succeed.

This latest achievement is based on years of commitment to understanding ACEs in our own community and improving health.  Since 2014, MCOMH has been partnering with the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) to provide a more extensive analysis of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) administered in Monroe County public schools every two years.  The initial work involved adding 11 questions about ACEs to the survey in order to enrich the dataset to enable analysis of the impact of ACEs on risk behaviors and behavioral health issues.  Similar to historical research, our local data illustrated that youth with ACEs are more likely to engage in risk behaviors and experience behavioral health issues.   Data team staff at CCSI performed statistical analyses on the 2017 sample to validate and support these conclusions. 

MCOMH has created a comprehensive set of interactive dashboards through Tableau to display results of the county sample created by MCDPH as well as each school district’s specific data.  The availability of this level of analysis has encouraged more school districts to participate in administering the survey at the high school level each time, as well as expanding to the middle school level.  Based on the impact of these data, Monroe County schools are also conducting the survey every two years, increasing the timeliness of information from the prior four-year cycle.  This project has fostered new relationships with school districts and other community stakeholders to develop strategies to increase protective factors and assets for school-aged youth to strengthen resiliency to diminish the negative effects of ACEs.  Enthusiasm for much of this collaborative activity was increased by sharing data in a clear and concise manner that stakeholders within school districts could understand and apply. 

For more information about this resource and the ACEs work in Monroe County, please contact Deb Hodgeman, Chief, Information Management & Analytics, Monroe County Office of Mental Health or Amy Scheel-Jones, Senior Consultant, CCSI.