One in five kids has been abused by an adult. Addressing the issue of family trauma and violence will be the top priority in Spokane, based on an assessment completed this year in a collaboration of Priority Spokane, a nonprofit alliance of community organizations, the Community Health Assessment Board and the Spokane Regional Health District.
Bob Lutz, SRHD health officer, says family trauma often leads to other health issues later in life. For children, it causes Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs.
"Research has shown that children who have ACEs have increased rates of substance abuse, violence, suicide and other types of violence," Lutz says.
Increasing access to services for people with substance abuse and mental health issues was the second priority identified by stakeholders.
Increasing affordable housing was the third. Similar community assessments completed in the past led Priority Spokane to focus efforts on increasing high school graduation rates starting in 2009, then on stabilizing the lives of homeless students starting in 2013.