This year the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is on Thursday, May 10. The theme will be “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma”. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), “Trauma occurs when a child experiences an intense event that threatens or causes harm to his emotional or physical well-being.” Such trauma can be the result of experiencing a natural disaster (such as a flood or hurricane), witnessing or being the victim of abuse, violence, or an accident. Certain medical procedures can cause trauma for a child; even the loss of a loved one. One out of every four children will experience a traumatic event before the age of 16.
Children react to trauma in different ways, and this varies depending on the child’s circumstances. One child may be traumatized by an event, and another may not. Some of signs to look for in a child who has been traumatized are the following:
· Changes in behavior
· Difficulty sleeping
· Difficulty eating
· Academic problems
· Problems receiving attention
· Aches and pains
A child who is experiencing child traumatic stress can sometimes result in being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is when the child moves from being traumatized by a past event to actually reliving the event in the form or flashbacks, nightmares, or other means for over a month after the original experience.
Over the past ten years, the mental health community has made great strides in treating children who suffer from traumatic stress issues. It is important for everyone involved in the life of a child who has experienced trauma to work together. This can be done by raising awareness, looking for the signs of traumatic stress, educating oneself on the issue, and sharing concerns.
For more information and resources, contact www.NCTSN.org.
Please also consider our counselors as one of your resources. Our counselors are trained to help children, teens and adults process traumatic events and learn new ways to cope with the aftermath. We are here for you!! #esupportcounseling