In the case of a human, it could be a dad hugging and listening. The buffer is hugely important, not just to attenuate the stress hormones but also to prevent the kind of epigenetic changes that lead to a dysregulated stress response and the major health issues that come with it.

Dr Nadine Burke-Harris, Paediatrician and Author ofThe Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

Talking about ACEs openly in a non-judgemental safe space has been shown to help with people’s recovery and provide some form of therapeutic relief. It is important however to ensure those asking about ACEs are prepared for the response, okay with themselves to ask and are in a position to help and support themselves before they start the conversation.

There are numerous sources of support available to people who wish to talk about their experience or who have affected by learning about ACEs such as Mind, Samaritans and NSPCC, find out more about these and other organisations under Sources of support.

One of our key areas of work here at Action on ACEs Gloucestershire is finding appropriate training to help those who, through their voluntary or work role, may be asking about people’s experience of ACEs.