Youth, Stress and Trauma
Critical Incident Stress Management
Everyone has to cope with some amount of stress. But if something happens that takes away your sense of security or causes great fear, that is a traumatic event. This could include being a victim of a crime; witnessing or experiencing violence, abuse or neglect; or being involved in a range of emergency incidents. For children, a traumatic experience (also referred to as a critical incident) is anything that has a negative effect on their ability to learn or become emotionally balanced and resilient.
CARE understands the difficulties many young people in the region deal with, and how hard it can be to go through the healing process after a traumatic incident. That’s why we offer special crisis intervention services, called Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) for the sole purpose of helping kids recover from traumatic events.
CARE has a CISM team of compassionate people who are specially trained in interventions that provide the needed support and kindness to young people who have experienced an event that caused them extreme stress. We partner with schools, businesses, and other organizations so CARE’s CISM team can be on site to provide whatever supportive services might be needed — such as group presentations about trauma, education on grief and support, group and individual counseling sessions, referrals, and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD). CISD is a small supportive group intervention that focuses on processing a traumatic event. Debriefing is the term used for the small group process and how it facilitates healing.
It is so important to have support available for children experiencing traumatic stress as the negative effects in young people can develop in many ways, such as:
- Inability to form healthy relationships with caregivers, friends, and others
- Difficulty in expressing or controlling emotions
- Engaging in violent or inappropriate behavior
- Inability to cope with “ordinary” amounts of stress
- Engaging in risky behaviors
- Experiencing chronic physical pain
- Feeling fearful or depressed nearly all the time
- Difficulties with learning and classroom behavior
- Poor problem-solving or reasoning skills
- Feelings of shame, guilt, or low self-esteem