State of ACEs work & education/career paths

Hi All,

I’ve recently learned about ACEs, and I’m so blown away by the power of this research that I’m considering a major career change to dedicate myself to this work. I have lived experience (score of 8) and have been quite fortunate to also be fairly resilient.

I have two questions for the community:

  • Being new to this research and resulting work, I'm interested in getting up to speed on the status of ACEs work/Trauma informed practices with a high level overview of what's currently happening in the US and Canada. I’m hoping (dreaming?) that such an incredibly helpful shortcut to understanding where things are at on this already exists. If there’s no single document, perhaps there are multiple sources that could help me to get a sense of this.
  • I would like to pursue a career in this field. I’m in the early stages of deciding exactly what that means. I know that I’m interested in work that can create change on a large scale, as opposed to 1:1 or therapeutic work (which is also crucial, but not where my interests are). My top ideas for what my new career looks like:
    • Raise awareness of ACEs and their impacts in Canada (there is very little happening here compared to the US)
    • Put ACEs on the public health agenda
    • Influence policy to improve population health and emphasize preventative measures as relates to ACEs
    • Oversee the creation of ACE/trauma-informed prevention, intervention and resilience strategies at community, provincial and national levels

At this point, I don’t have any experience in the field. I’m 41, I have a biology undergrad (2002) and I run my own small business as a web designer (the only pattern in my career trajectory so far is that I follow my disparate passions, which has resulted in the complete lack of a pattern ).

My question is – what is the best path forward to achieve these goals? I’m imagining that doing a Masters in Public Health would be a big step in the right direction. I hesitate slightly on that since there’s no mention of ACEs on any of the websites of MPH programs I’m considering (though I recognize it may fall under social determinants of health).

I’d love any insight and advice from those of you working in the field on what you think the best way(s) forward would be. And if anyone doing this kind of work would be available for a short (15 min) information interview, I'd be so grateful.

Thanks so much!


Original Post