By: Shannon Jones, President & CEO at Groundwork Ohio
If you haven’t heard our message yet, we’re passionate about taking care of our youngest Ohioans.
Without yet knowing the full extent of the pandemic’s impact, it is clear that Ohio's children and their families have been and are in crisis. Ohio ranks in the bottom half of all 50 states and D.C. on infant maltreatment. We must ensure that those who will lead us into the future can grow, learn, and play in environments that support positive mental health and protect them from the harmful effects of stress, trauma, and adversity.
For this reason, now more than ever, it's imperative that our state’s leaders chart a path forward to both prevent and mitigate the impacts of the mental health crisis facing our youngest Ohioans.
It’s why we’re a part of the Vote for Ohio Kids coalition and eager to hear from both Gov. Mike DeWine and former Mayor Nan Whaley when they attend our Leadership Forum on October 6.
Children who are in unsafe situations and children who lack nurturing relationships are more likely to be exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Not every child exposed to ACEs suffers poor outcomes as a result; positive and supportive environments can serve as a buffer against the harms of childhood adversity and trauma. For example, high-quality early learning can help children build resilience and overcome the long-lasting health and economic impacts of ACEs. At Groundwork Ohio, together with our partners at Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and Ohio Excels, we’re looking forward to hearing from our gubernatorial on their visions for supporting the well-being and healthy development of Ohio’s children.
We recently wrote an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch on the importance of our candidates putting our state’s children at the forefront of their agendas and are excited to be able to hear from them directly in October. Registration is open to sponsors only – find out more information about sponsorship levels here.