Community-based Early Intervention with Trauma Survivors

Josef I. Ruzek

in The Oxford Handbook of Traumatic Stress Disorders

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399066
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Community-based Early Intervention with Trauma Survivors

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The numbers of individuals affected by frequently occurring traumatic events such as accidents and assaults, as well as large-scale traumas such as war and disaster, call for systematic, comprehensive community-based responses to manage mental health consequences of such exposure. Comprehensive early response by the community to its trauma-exposed members requires integration of several key response components. Communities should develop immediate response services, educate the affected community, reach out to survivors, engage in efficient early identification of those at risk, implement community-wide early intervention counseling services, monitor those at risk, train and support providers, monitor the well-being and needs of the affected population, and provide additional large-community interventions and programs. These services should encompass both trauma survivors and their family members and should target a range of potential negative outcomes, including posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, substance abuse, and impairments in functioning. Increased attention should be given to training and supporting providers, integration of online interventions into community-based service delivery, and program monitoring and evaluation. Those who serve sexual assault survivors, crime victims, deployed military personnel, physically injured assault and motor vehicle accident survivors, and disaster-affected groups can potentially learn much from one another, and efforts should be under taken to ensure that “cross-fertilization” of perspectives can occur in the service of creating integrated and comprehensive community-based responses to trauma.

Keywords: trauma; ptsd; community; early intervention; prevention; disaster

Article.  11317 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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