Trauma Witness and Victim of Violence
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network defines a traumatic event as a “frightening, dangerous or violent event that poses a threat to a child’s life or bodily integrity.” Potential traumatic experiences can include abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional), neglect, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, family or community violence, sudden or violent loss of a loved one, substance use disorder (personal or familiar), war experiences, serious accidents or life-threatening illness, and military family-related stressors.
Though traumatic responses in children and adolescents can range widely, some common responses include depressive symptoms or anxiety, behavioral changes, attention and academic difficulties, regression, difficulty in relationships, physical symptoms such as aches and pains, substance use and risky behavior. Research has indicated that childhood exposure to traumatic events can lead to long-term health problems and premature death.
Domestic and dating violence among teenagers is a troublingly common issue in the United States. Teen dating violence may include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological aggression or stalking. Nearly one in 11 female and one in 15 male high school students reported experiencing physical dating violence in the past year. One in 9 female and one in 36 males reported experiencing sexual dating violence in the past year. Youth victims of dating violence are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, engage in risky or unhealthy behaviors, exhibit antisocial behaviors and contemplate suicide.
With the Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center addresses high-risk cases with a thorough evaluation for suicide risk; multiple sessions of individual, group and family therapy each week; and an individualized, culturally sensitive treatment plan that focuses on safety strategies, healthy coping skills and relapse prevention. Evaluation with a psychiatrist regarding the possible use of medication will also be provided, when needed. We also provide in-home treatment and referrals to programs and services that will support your efforts to protect your child. Unlike many providers, the Guidance Center promises that at-risk children and teens will be seen within 24-48 hours, when the case is deemed urgent.
The Fay J. Lindner Foundation Triage and Emergency Services at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center offers rapid response to psychiatric emergencies – a sudden set of circumstances in which there is an impending risk of danger to the child or adolescent such as a risk of suicide, risk of physical harm to others, and a state of seriously impaired judgment in which the child is endangered, and situations of risk to a defenseless victim involving abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence. Our team will assess if the situation is urgent and will arrange an appointment to see the child within 24 to 48 hours. Our goal is to strengthen, stabilize, and support. For more information about our services, please call us at 516-626-1971.
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