Mary Rickert

The Shasta Connection


By Mary Rickert

With no meetings scheduled around the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays, it allows me to cover topics in more depth than usual in this column.  Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a topic I am very interested in and has been studied over the last twenty years.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) web site defines Adverse Child Experiences as “stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect.  They may also include household dysfunction such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance abuse disorders.  ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s lifespan, including those associated with substance misuse.”

The Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, did research from 1995-1997 with over 17,000 subjects.   Their findings made the connection between those experiencing these traumatic situations in their life and the increased risk of factors for disease, disability and an early death.

So how does Shasta County rate with their local data by surveying those living in this county as compared to statewide statistics?  In 2012, 218 Shasta County participants answered survey questions and the numbers were alarming.


Experience Shasta Co. California
Incarcerated Family Member 17.1% 6.6%
Sexual Abuse 21.2% 11.4%
Witnessed Domestic Violence 29.7% 17.6%
Physical Abuse 34.7% 19.9%
Household Mental Illness 43.8% 15.1%
Parental Separation/Divorce 44.3% 26.7%
Verbal Abuse 54.5% 36.0%
Family Substance Abuse 57.7% 26.2%


These statistics speak for themselves.  As a result, the Shasta Strengthening Families Collaborative has been formed.  There are many presenters trained to talk to groups on ACEs throughout the county.  I have been to some of these presentations and I heartily encourage others to attend a presentation to become better equipped to improve the current situation in Shasta County.

If your organization, group of friends or school has any interest in having a presentation on ACEs, please contact me at and I will get you in touch with the appropriate person for a presentation.

In 2016, Mary Rickert was elected to serve as Shasta County District 3 Supervisor. A 42-year resident of Shasta County, Mary has lived near McArthur since 1988.  Attending California Polytechnic State University as a Dairy Science major,  Mary also holds degrees in Business & Human Resources Management and Psychology from Simpson University.  Along with her husband Jim, the couple are owners of Western Agricultural Services— a farm management, appraisal and real estate brokerage firm.  They are also the majority owners of Prather Ranch— a nationally recognized, vertically integrated beef cattle operation. Mary and her husband Jim have three grown children and five grandchildren.