4 Organizations Working To Understand & Address Trauma
Trauma can be caused by anything from an abusive parent to a natural disaster to military service. These experiences can leave both physical and mental scars, which take time and effort to heal. That's why organizations like the ones listed here study the causes and effects of trauma and work to improve the quality of care for those affected by it. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Groups That Study & Address Trauma
|Health Federation of Philadelphia||Improve access to and quality of health and human services for underserved and vulnerable populations|
|Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma||Advocate for ethical and thorough reporting of trauma, educate journalists and journalism students about the science and psychology of trauma and the implications for news coverage, and provide a professional forum for journalists in all media to analyze issues, share knowledge and ideas, and advance strategies related to the craft of reporting on violence and tragedy|
|Millennium Cohort Study||Provide critical information towards enhancing the long-term health of future generations of military members|
|Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative||Ensure that children traumatized by exposure to family violence and other adverse childhood experiences succeed in school|
How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health issue that some people develop after witnessing or experiencing a life-threatening event. While this can happen to anyone after living through a natural disaster, car accident, sexual assault, or similarly traumatic event, the disorder is often associated with veterans, as combat is a dangerous situation that causes many soldiers to develop PTSD. Symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, and re-experiencing upsetting memories, which can make it hard for people to do daily activites like going to work or school and spending time with loved ones. There are a number of treatments available to help people recover from their trauma and regain a normal life, including different types of psychotherapies and medications like anti-depressants.
U.S. Mental Health Facts
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
- The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years
- People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population
- 19.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2018
- The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S. adults who have mental illness (5.8%) compared to those who do not (3.6%)
- 41% of the people with mental disorders receive professional health care or other services
- Mental illness is associated with lower use of medical care, reduced adherence to treatment therapies for chronic diseases and higher risks of adverse health outcomes
- Up to 25% of primary care patients suffer from depression, but primary care doctors identify only 31% of these patients
- 4% of young adults reported forgoing mental health care in the past year, despite self-reported mental health needs
- Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44
- Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men
- Four times as many men than women commit suicide
- Suicidal ideation among adults increased from 3.77% in 2012 to 4.19% in 2017
- The proportion of youth with private insurance that did not cover mental or emotional difficulties went from 4.6% in 2012 to 8.1% in 2017
- 8.4% of children aged 6 to 17 have been diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression
The Psychology Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
For many who've suffered from violence or abuse, the most persistent impacts are not physical, but mental. Psychological wounds can persist long after the events that caused them, resulting in negative effects on health, achievement, and interpersonal relationships. In no particular order, here is a selection of resources for better knowledge and treatment of trauma.
First up at #1 is the Health Federation of Philadelphia, which offers a variety of services to support the well-being of under-served and vulnerable populations. Many of its programs are aimed at improving access to health care, such as its outreach initiative assisting eligible individuals with subsidized insurance enrollment; others, like the Philadelphia Integrated Care Network, focus on supporting best practices within community medical centers.
HFP's Training Institute offers education and technical assistance to institutions, to help them support marginalized or victimized clients. Its options include courses in trauma-informed practice, caring for young people who've had harmful experiences, and cultural awareness in behavioral health services. Other HFP programs offer assistance for struggling families, including the Early Head Start child development initiative, or the Enhanced Parenting Program to promote healthy childcare strategies.
Its options include courses in trauma-informed practice, caring for young people who've had harmful experiences, and cultural awareness in behavioral health services.
At #2 we have the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, dedicated to promoting practices in media coverage of violence and tragedy that support the dignity and well-being of those impacted. A project of Columbia Journalism School, the Dart Center provides resources on topics such as culturally sensitive reporting on trauma in schools, safety in covering street protests, and respecting survivors when investigating human rights abuses.
The Dart Center compiles research on subjects like the experience of journalists in hostile environments, or the neurological impact of childhood adversity. The organization offers training on subjects ranging from compassionate interviewing of children, to safety for reporters in crisis zones. The Dart Awards recognize exceptional journalistic works that display respect for victims, and the Center's fellowship program provides an educational opportunity focused on covering trauma and conflict.
#3 on the list is the Millennium Cohort Study, an ongoing research project examining the long-term health impacts of military service. Begun in the wake of the first Gulf War, the Study collects, analyzes, and shares data about the prevalence of problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual assault, and obesity among current and former service members.
Begun in the wake of the first Gulf War, the Study collects, analyzes, and shares data about the prevalence of problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual assault, and obesity among current and former service members.
The Millennium Cohort Study investigates the effects of military-specific hazards such as open-air burn pits in Iraq, or the ways that factors like prescription stimulants or sleep disruption affect trauma-related illness. The study shares its findings through infographics, presentations, and publications. The research team thanks participants with custom postcards each Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
We'll end with #4, the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, which aims to create welcoming educational environments for students affected by adverse childhood experiences. The Initiative works to raise awareness of the prevalence of trauma in young people, and its effect on academic outcomes. Its Flexible Framework tool provides a comprehensive guide for preparing schools to address these challenges.
TLPI provides publications on supporting the education of traumatized children, as well as informational videos and other resources. The organization advocates for reform to support trauma-informed public schooling, and provides information on efforts like the Safe and Supportive Schools law. TLPI's Learning Community helps educators network and share strategies for fostering student success in the wake of harmful experiences.