This webinar describes how children typically respond to hurricanes and their aftermath as well as potential vulnerability factors (e.g. prior history of loss) associated with adverse reactions following natural disasters.
Although hurricane exposure, in and of itself, is unlikely to lead to adverse mental health consequences in youth, those children or adolescents who have histories of prior trauma are at particularly high risk for longer-term mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress.
National studies show that bereavement is the most common and the most distressing form of trauma among U.S. youth, particularly those in underserved communities. Research following Hurricane Katrina also indicates that the majority of youth treated for posttraumatic stress had experienced the death of a loved one prior to the hurricane. These findings suggest that best practice models for mental health service delivery post-disaster must not only address the traumatic elements of the hurricane/floods, but potential grief-related issues stemming from bereavement that may have thus far been overlooked.
The Trauma and Grief (TAG) Center at Texas Children's Hospital is a designated Category II Treatment and Services Adaptation Center of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, providing expertise in trauma- and bereavement-informed care to youth-serving clinicians and organizations across the country. The TAG Center is also home to the new Harvey Resiliency and Recovery Program. The Program was developed in an effort to address the mental health needs of children exposed to the recent hurricane, especially those who have experienced prior traumas and losses.
Evidence-based assessment and intervention efforts taking place within the Harvey Resiliency and Recovery Program is also be described, including Trauma and Grief Component Therapy, an intervention designed to reduce posttraumatic stress and maladaptive grief reactions in youth exposed to disasters.
1. Recognize the impact of prior traumas/losses on post-hurricane recovery in youth
2. Identify exposure-related vulnerability factors associated with mental health problems in hurricane victims
3. Recognize how caregivers can help youth following a natural disaster
4. Identify best practice models for post-disaster mental health care for children and adolescents
Learning Level: Introductory
This webinar is not eligible for CE credit.