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Raising Awareness and Promoting Treatment: PTSD Awareness Day and Month

A pensive young person.

Almost thirty percent of homeless youth live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to five percent of the general youth population. Complex trauma histories and the mental illnesses that arise from exposure to traumatic events are common among youth served by Family and Youth Services Bureau grantees. Adverse childhood experiences as well as current adversity, such as living on the streets, can contribute to trauma-related mental health challenges among at-risk young people.

Thanks to the U.S. Congress there are two annual awareness-raising campaigns focused on PTSD – June 27th is PTSD Awareness Day (named by Congress in 2010) and the month of June is PTSD Awareness Month (designated by the Senate in 2014). The National Center for PTSD leads these annual campaigns to raise awareness about trauma-related illness and the therapeutic options available to help people recover and thrive.

For organizations that want to get involved with this year’s campaigns, the Center makes it easy with a page of links to promotional materials. Whether staff are looking for sample social media posts (PDF, 1.5 MB) or have plans to hold an event (PDF, 2.5 MB), there are materials to fit their campaign needs. Agencies can register their campaign efforts by submitting a pledge form (PDF, 614 KB).

In honor of PTSD Awareness Month we have collected some links for resources that clinical staff can use to select trauma assessment measures and trauma treatment interventions for youth:

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. Youth-serving professionals can search this up-to-date database for trauma-informed interventions. Clearinghouse staff have divided the interventions into two categories: those that are implemented at the client level (e.g. Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) and at the system level (e.g. Sanctuary Model). Each intervention is rated on the strength of its research evidence.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network. In the Network’s table of Empirically Supported Treatments and Promising Practices, Network staff have included links to detailed descriptions of the interventions. Readers will learn about each intervention’s target population(s) and whether the treatment has research evidence to back it up. The NCTSN site also has a comprehensive section on complex trauma that includes links to assessment tools and treatment interventions.

More on Youth Mental Health

Implementing Mental Health Screenings for Children and Youth in Family Shelters

Q&A: Using the HEART Program to Integrate Medical and Mental Health Care for Teen Moms

Resources for Youth To Address Relationship Abuse Year-Round

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

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