Trauma occurs when a child, adolescent or adult experiences or witnesses a physically or emotionally harmful event or series of events. Traumatic events are not rare in the United States; around 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women will experience at least one trauma at some point in their lives, including sexual or physical abuse, domestic violence, community violence, a motor vehicle accident, a natural disaster, such as a tornado or flood, or some other catastrophic event.
Symptoms following a traumatic event can include depression, anxiety, withdrawal, sleep problems, or even risky behaviors like substance abuse. The mental health professionals in the Traumatic Stress Program of PRI are trained to recognize trauma-related symptoms and provide effective treatments that will aid in an individual’s recovery. Providers use an interdisciplinary approach to treating children, adolescents and adults exposed to trauma that initially involves a structured assessment followed by a careful treatment plan that includes evidence-based practices shown to be effective with a variety of patients.
In addition, the Arkansas Building Effective Services for Trauma (AR BEST) program has linkages with community partners who are also trained to work with children and adolescents exposed to trauma and can provide referrals to mental health professionals located throughout other areas of the state.