07-06-2022 02:30 PM - last edited on 07-15-2022 03:10 PM by Hannah_RO
Single-event trauma is caused by a one-time event which threatens a person’s life, safety or mental wellbeing. The incident will be stressful and can have a significant impact on their emotional state.
These traumatic events could include physical or sexual assault, car accident, war, terrorism or torture, death or serious injury, or natural disaster like a bushfire or flood – such as the recent floods affecting families across NSW.
It can be really challenging to know how to best to support our teens after experiencing a traumatic event. They can often be able to hide how they're really feeling, shut their parents out, or disguise their struggle with anger instead. There are however some key symptoms that tend to show up after someone experiences single-event trauma that can be helpful to keep an eye out for.
It is really important to be a supportive presence when a young person is experiencing trauma. One way you can do this is by encouraging conversation without being forceful, if they decide they don't want to talk about how they are feeling with you. If this happens, it could be an idea to support them in talking to a counsellor or getting in touch with Lifeline / Kidshelpline.
Another suggestion is allowing them space and time to process and grieve, whilst gently initiating some routine and normalcy back into their lives. Helping them to engage with friends and their community can also help people feel more supported.
Throughout it all, it's so important to be patient and to also reach out for support for yourself too. You can chat to your GP about therapist referrals, get free support from mental health professionals at Beyond Blue or post on our forums for peer support.
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