Building a Trauma-Informed Community. Together.

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Help is available 24/7. For mental health emergencies, contact 988 anytime for immediate assistance. NH but does not have a 603 area code, rapid response line at 833-710-6477 is still the best option for support.

About Trauma

Building a Trauma-Informed Community. Together.

about us

“Trauma isn’t what happens to you. It’s what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you.”

– Gabor Mate

Building a Trauma-Informed Monadnock Together

How We Define Trauma

“Trauma occurs when the stress of an event or circumstance overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope. Circumstances vary widely and are individual, but trauma occurs when a threat to the physical or emotional well-being takes place and causes lasting adverse effects.” (Definition of Trauma by SAMHSA)

Trauma can come in many forms – from the “shock trauma” of a car accident, assault, or sudden death of a loved one, to the “complex trauma” of a childhood where there was violence in the home or not enough to eat. Trauma is subjective, meaning one person may be traumatized by a parent’s emotional abuse while a sibling living in the same home is unaffected.

Many factors determine whether an event is traumatic and how deep its impact goes, and these are different for everyone.

What’s most important to understand is that trauma isn’t actually what happened, but how you respond to it.

For example, if your grandmother died by suicide when you were seven, that was a traumatic event. However, your trauma may have come from the fact that you had no one to talk to about the event and it left you feeling confused, isolated, and afraid.

This secondary trauma can settle deep within our cells and leaves many individuals with disruptors to their everyday life including: anxiety, inability to form healthy relationships, depression, loss of hope, or withdrawal (the list goes on).

Trauma isn’t the event itself, but how the event affected you, individually.

Particularly in childhood, trauma can occur when anything consistently leaves a child feeling unsafe in the world and unsupported by caregivers.

Years later, these deeply burrowed beliefs may resurface and show up as:


  • Mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression
  • Physical health issues, such as diabetes or heart disease
  • A host of other challenges

These symptoms typically get treated at the level of the problem instead of digging down to understand what caused them.

Building a Trauma-Informed Community. Together.

The Importance of a Trauma-Informed Community

When trauma is addressed early, many of these later outcomes can be prevented.

This is the importance of a trauma-informed community: we work together to stop these debilitating problems before they start, and we collaborate to support those who are already dealing with the outcomes of trauma, rather than punishing or shaming them or leaving them to face their challenges alone.

ACEs Scoring and PACEs

What is ACEs scoring?

ACES are adverse childhood experiences that harm children’s developing brains and change how they respond to stress. If not addressed, the damage done can affect them for life.

ACEs cause much of our burden of chronic disease and mental illness, and can be associated with violence, crime, and other negative social outcomes.

The ACEs scoring system comes from the landmark CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences Study which explored the prevalence of childhood trauma. ACEs are typically regarded as comprising 10 categories:

  • Abuse–physical, emotional, or sexual
  • Neglect–physical or emotional
  • Household challenges–when a parent:
    • Experiences mental illness or substance addiction
    • Is abused in front of the child
    • Is incarcerated or leaves the family unit through separation, divorce, or death

A second ACE measure, Adverse Community Environments, links negative outcomes to broader societal experiences, such as:

  • Racism and discrimination
  • Bullying
  • Poverty and lack of access to services

These and other adverse childhood, climate, and community experiences commonly lead to the experience of trauma and its systemic impact later in life.

The higher the ACE score, the greater risk for such outcomes as chronic disease, mental illness, addiction, violence, or being a victim of violence.

The ACE scoring system is based on a 0-10 scale where each type of trauma counts as one, regardless of how often it occurred.

What are PACEs?

PACEs are protective and compensatory experiences. They are positive childhood experiences that can help increase resilience and protect against the risk for mental and physical illness and other negative outcomes to childhood trauma.

PACEs include things like positive relationships, behaviors, and resources that lessen the development of future problems related to health and wellbeing, even with a history of ACEs.

The Ten PACEs Are:

  • Unconditional love of a parent or caregiver
  • Time spent with a best friend
  • Volunteering or helping others
  • Being active in a social group or community
  • Having a mentor that’s outside of the family
  • Living in a clean, safe home with enough nourishment
  • Having opportunities to learn
  • Having a hobby
  • Being active or playing sports
  • Having routine and fair rules at home

Our Initiatives

Our aim is to create a trauma-informed community where everyone experiences health and safety.

As an organization, we realize the widespread impact of trauma on families, individuals, and communities. We’re actively working to raise awareness to help others recognize the symptoms of trauma and build trauma-informed policies, procedures, and practices in their organizations. 

We believe the Monadnock community can be a place of safety, connection, compassion, prevention, health, and well-being for all who call our beautiful region home.