HELENA – Shodair Children’s Hospital held free adverse childhood experiences or “ACEs” training for the community on Thursday.

ACEs are defined as exposure to emotional, physical or sexual abuse, and household dysfunction during childhood.

Participants included healthcare workers, members of the school district, and nursing students.

Shodair RN Christine Schultz said the goal of the training wasn’t to say “what’s wrong” with an individual, but rather help people understand a person’s situation and better relate to them.

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“It’s one of those things where if people can start to recognize it early they can start to see the signs. They can meet people where they are. Have appropriate interventions, teach appropriate skills. Prevent it from happening to future generations so that we’re not passing this on,” Schultz said.

Shodair holds public adverse childhood experiences courses every other month.

A recent study found by the Southern California Permanente Medical Group found Montana ranked fourth overall for kids with two or more adverse childhood experiences.