Healthy People is a national effort that sets goals and objectives to improve the health and well-being of people in the United States. Healthy People 2030 is the fifth edition of Healthy People. It aims at new challenges and builds on lessons learned from its first 4 decades. The initiative began in 1979, when Surgeon General Julius Richmond issued a report entitled, Healthy People: The Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. This report focused on reducing preventable death and injury. It included objectives to achieve national health promotion and disease prevention goals for the United States within a 10-year period (by 1990). The report was followed in later decades by the release of updated, 10-year Healthy People goals and objectives (Healthy People 2000, Healthy People 2010, and Healthy People 2020).
A first for the 2030 Guidelines
For the first time, the Healthy People 2030 guidelines have added four objectives on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), a step to recognize the systemic impact of childhood trauma on health. ACEs and childhood trauma did not reach “core objective” status in Healthy People 2030, due to limited baseline data and the need for additional data points, but four items were included in developmental and research objectives:
- Reduce the number of young adults who report 3 or more adverse childhood experiences.
- Increase the proportion of trauma-informed early childcare settings, elementary and secondary schools.
- Increase the proportion of children and adolescents with symptoms of trauma who get treatment.
- Increase the proportion of children and adolescents who show resilience to challenges and stress.
Additionally, the following research objective is relevant to addressing childhood trauma in schools: Increase the proportion of public schools with a counselor, social worker, and psychologist. If both baseline data and evidence-based interventions become available, this objective may become a core objective.
Who developed the Guidelines
The development of Healthy People 2030 took years with input from: a) members of the public, b) public and private organizations, c) the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, d) a diverse group of federal and nonfederal subject matter experts, and e) federal agencies
“Toxic stress is endangering the current and future health of our society,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio. “Amid the mental, physical, and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is even greater need to prevent the risk factors for toxic stress, which are severe, intense, or prolonged stress, trauma, or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) like physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.”
If you would like to read more about ACE’s, please click on the link.