New White Paper: Epigenetics and OhioGuidestone’s Theory of Change

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In our latest white paper, we take a look at epigenetics and how it may affect our understanding of behavioral health. First, we briefly discuss and define epigenetics. Then, we explore how this field of study may impact our approach to behavioral health treatment and psychiatric disorders. Finally, we underscore the importance of community-first strategies for addressing environmental risks and social determinants of health — including how they affect epigenetics.

Epigenetics, which looks at heritable changes to gene function that occur “over and above” changes to the DNA sequence, is a growing field of study. Because of how epigenetic modifications can alter gene expression through generations, researchers are uncovering important connections to health and disease, including behavioral health and psychiatric disorders. We also are learning that these modifications sometimes may be driven by such factors as social determinants, physical environments, and stress.

As one of Ohio’s leading behavioral health providers, OhioGuidestone is taking the lead on promoting, educating, and responding to issues that may affect or be affected by epigenetics as they relate to our clients, their families, and their communities.

We hope that this white paper will help springboard further discussion and exploration of epigenetics. Because we believe it may be significant to real-world health and disease, we encourage robust and disciplined engagement with the science. This includes careful consideration of how misuse of scientific research has harmed vulnerable or marginalized communities, both historically and through the present day.

Read this white paper at You also can view and download all our white papers at

The Institute of Family & Community Impact is a initiative of OhioGuidestone, one of Ohio’s largest behavioral health agencies. From research to products to clinical innovations, we provide tools for mental health treatment. For questions or more info, email us at

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