State surgeon general’s prescription for a healthy Sacramento: Alleviating childhood trauma []


California’s new surgeon general made Sacramento the first stop on her statewide listening tour, and after Tuesday’s event, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris told The Bee that capital residents are powerfully grappling with the long-term impact childhood trauma has on their families and neighborhoods.

Burke Harris said many of the 100 Sacramento-area residents she met with asked her to find ways to bring training, resources and support to families, educators, nonprofits and other community-based organizations, so they can better deal with the toxic stress that affects physical and neuro-development starting in childhood.

To study the impact of traumatic childhood events, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente asked 17,000 people, from 1995 to 97, to share their childhood experiences and their current behavioral and physical health status. They found there are about 10 different categories of adverse experiences that can lead to long-term dysfunction. Burke Harris said they include physical, emotional and sexual abuse; physical and emotional neglect; or growing up in a household where parents were mentally ill, substance-dependent, incarcerated; or living in a family where there was parental separation, divorce or domestic violence.

[For more on this story by CATHIE ANDERSON, go to]

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