Trauma is a broad term. It encompasses a variety of experiences and it has varying degrees of impact on individuals. As it relates to mental and behavioral health, traumatic experiences — in childhood or adulthood — can have lasting effects and have the ability to influence an individual’s mental state if therapeutic interventions aren’t initiated.
Of course, traumatic events and even the aftermath of them, are not easy to discuss. But the importance of doing so can’t be underestimated. At the very least, effective therapeutic interventions help an individual better understand themselves, which can ultimately lead to healing and recovery.
Trauma takes different forms. Those who experience a natural disaster may carry trauma just as someone who survived a car accident, abuse in childhood or a death or divorce. These events have the ability to leave a lasting mark, even if it isn’t felt every day. And just as there are different types of trauma, there too are different types of traumatic responses, which can include behavioral issues, substance use disorder, anxiety and stress, or an inability or unwillingness to deal with confrontation.
Trauma, which can include a physical injury, is also defined as a “deeply depressing or disturbing experience.” And according to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, trauma is quite common.
Prevalence of trauma
The National Council estimates that up to 70% of Americans have experienced at least one type of traumatic event at some point in their lives. That statistic equates to more than 223 million people.
Some of the more common traumas experienced in childhood, which are also referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), include:
- Abuse, neglect or violence
- Domestic violence
- Losing a family member by suicide
- Being exposed to mental health or substance abuse problems
- Experiencing parental separation due to incarceration
In addition to these common ACEs, other experiences — such as unstable housing, food insecurity, an unsafe community and discrimination — can traumatize individuals during their formative years. And into adulthood, ACEs have the potential to negatively affect overall health and wellbeing, as they increase the risks of chronic disease, risky lifestyle decisions and economic and professional instability.
Finding common ground
The consequences of not treating the impacts of trauma, whether they occurred in childhood or adulthood, can be serious. And those consequences underscore the need for mental health and substance use disorder providers who, based on lived experience, may have a better understanding of what an individual is navigating.
Telepsychiatry partnerships, like the ones offered by innovaTel, open the doors wide for organizations that are seeking providers with specific backgrounds, specialties or lived experiences. Because innovaTel’s providers work in a remote capacity, the barriers created by geography no longer exist, making it that much easier for patients and organizations to find a provider whom they connect with and trust.
Trauma, and each individual response to it, is personal. But, the provider matchmaking process innovaTel offers organizations as part of their partnerships is, too. The process is designed to ensure that organizations and providers find a match they’re both happy with, which means organizations can bring in providers who can connect with their specific patient population in an effective and empathetic way.
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