Most adults have been affected by trauma in some way whether they experience it directly, see someone they know go through it or hear about it happening to someone else. During PTSD Awareness Month, recognized each year in June, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) urges everyone gain a better understanding of how traumatic stress can affect those who suffer from it.
ISTSS offers educational resources for both the public and professionals to learn about trauma and its effects.
“Many people experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes, but reactions to these events vary considerably,” said ISTSS President Julian D. Ford, PhD, ABPP. “For some people, natural coping allows their reactions to gradually diminish. But if symptoms persist or attempts to cope lead to unhealthy outcomes, it may be useful to seek professional help.”
ISTSS has recently updated its guidelines for the prevention and treatment of PTSD, releasing its methodology and recommendations in advance of the third edition of Effective Treatments for PTSD. ISTSS has also released two position papers on complex PTSD in children/adolescents and adults, which highlight important considerations for interpreting the recommendations and translating them into practice. ISTSS briefing papers address the traumatic impact of global issues such as forcible displacement; sexual assault, sexual abuse and harassment; and public health approaches to trauma.
For anyone who has been affected by trauma, ISTSS offers numerous public resources. ePamphlets in multiple languages discuss what to expect after a traumatic event, risk factors and how to recognize when professional help is needed for different types of trauma. The ISTSS Clinician Directory can help people find a clinician, counselor or mental health professional in their local area by discipline or specialty, special interests, populations served and languages spoken.
“ISTSS supports the health and resilience of people affected by trauma,” said Ford. “We’re looking not only to treat PTSD but also to understand and prevent it.”
The VA offers several treatment options for PTSD including medical, mental health, and family services.
NOTE: If you are in crisis dial 911 or 800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
About the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
ISTSS is an international interdisciplinary professional organization that promotes advancement and exchange of knowledge about traumatic stress. Learn more at www.istss.org.