Trauma and children
Almost everyday it seems we hear about something in the United States, and right here in Maine that is potentially traumatic for children.
Did you know that:
Data from the National Survey of Adolescents (PDF) and other studies indicate that one in four children and adolescents in the United States experience at least one potentially traumatic event before the age of 16, and more than 13% of 17 year olds -- one in eight -- have experienced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives.
According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, children who have been exposed to family violence suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as bed-wetting or nightmares, and were at greater risk than their peers of having allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and flu."
The effects of exposure to violence and other types of trauma can be diminished with appropriate supports and interventions? The Safe Start Center, Cohen, McAlister Groves, Kracke
We at Community Counseling Center, through a grant called The Maine Children’s Trauma Response Initiative, are working to do everything in our power to ensure that any child in the state of Maine who has been exposed to violence and other traumatic experiences has access to mental health treatment that has been proven to work. One of our goals is to ensure that no matter where a child lives, they will be able to access evidence-based trauma treatment close to home.
We are partnering with numerous agencies throughout Maine in order to provide a full range of trauma-informed mental health services, including outreach, community education, assessment and triage, training and treatment.
What is Trauma?
“An overwhelming demand placed upon the physiological human system that results in a profound sense of vulnerability and/or loss of control.” -Robert Macy, The Trauma Center- Boston
Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being – (working definition), samhsa.gov, 2013
An event that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. -Risking Connections, 1999
What are Potential Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Stress in Children?
• Sleep troubles, nightmares, fear of falling asleep;
• Headaches, stomach aches, aches and pains;
• Having trouble concentrating;
• Withdrawing from friends and activities;
• Not showing feelings about anything;
• A very high activity level;
• Increased aggression or anger;
• Loss of skills learned earlier;
• Increased anxiety/worry or depression;
• Substance abuse, dangerous behaviors, or unhealthy sexual activity.
If you know of a group of people who work with children who might be interested in receiving free training regarding how to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in children, some basic skills to employ and what resources are available, please contact us.
This grant is made possible through funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the support of The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).
For more information about The Maine Children’s Trauma Response Initiative, please contact Patti Ross at 207-874-1030 x348 or email@example.com
For more information about the Oxford County Domestic Violence Task Force, please contact Diane at 364-9908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, call:
Safe Voices: 24-hour free and confidential helpline 800-559-2927 www.safevoices,org; Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services: 800-871-7741 www.Sapars.org; Or contact your local police department: 9-1-1 for emergency only.