CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department wants to look at some of the major reasons behind health related problems children face that could eventually lead to more serious issues during adulthood.

Dr. Michael Brumage, the department’s executive director and health officer, announced Thursday the Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey that KCHD has made available through their website.

The survey, originally conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, Ca., includes 10 questions that center around abuse and neglect. It is completely anonymous and open to the public.

Once the survey is complete, the respondent will receive an ACE score that ranges between 0 and 10.

“The higher your score, the more likely it is that you are at risk for smoking, for obesity, for depression, for suicide,” said Brumage. “That doesn’t mean that you will have those problems because there are resiliency factors that the score doesn’t measure, but it gives you a good indication of maybe not ‘what’s wrong with me?’ but ‘what happened to me.'”

When it comes to adverse childhood experiences and public health consequences later in life, Brumage said the two go hand in hand.

“There is a clear connection between these two. Until we really begin to address the adverse childhood experiences we’re never really going to get to the bottom of the major public health problems that we face here,” he said.

Brumage said he hopes the survey results will allow them to educate providers of what the scores mean and how it can be used in clinical practice.

The survey will be available online for about two weeks before preliminary results are presented in the coming weeks after that.

To take the ACE survey, click here.