Evaluating the Need for Trauma-Informed Care in a Behavioral Health System of Care

  • Megan J. Freeman University of Mississippi
  • John Young University of Mississippi
  • Kayla Erickson Mississippi Children’s Home Services
  • John Damon Mississippi Children’s Home Services
  • Kathy Crockett Hinds Behavioral Health Services

Abstract

Potentially traumatic events (PTE) can occur in the life of an individual and can cause long-term psychological harm, including symptoms or diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A large number of youth currently receiving mental and behavioral health services have been exposed to PTE, and a subset of those struggle with distressing and impairing symptoms of PTSD. Often, these youth have not and will not receive appropriate care, which can include Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and trauma-informed care (e.g., Sanctuary). We sought to identify rates of exposure to PTE and expression of PTSD symptoms in youth receiving services in a system of care and found that 95% of the sample reported exposure to at least one PTE (mean = 5). One third of the sample reported a significant burden of PTSD symptoms (5 or more rated highly in the past month). These findings support the trauma-informed care principle of universal precautions in environments that provide mental and behavioral health services to youth. Case vignettes are presented and implications for practice are discussed.

Published
2020-11-17
How to Cite
Freeman, M., Young, J., Erickson, K., Damon, J., & Crockett, K. (2020). Evaluating the Need for Trauma-Informed Care in a Behavioral Health System of Care. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 25, 53–65. https://doi.org/10.5195/jcycw.2015.71
Section
Research and Practice Articles