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Trauma is defined as any severely distressing event or experience that has the potential to impair a young person’s ability to cope and function. A study conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital found that 19% of young people (those between the ages of 13 and 17) had experienced three or more traumatic events in their lifetime, and 61% of kids had experienced at least one. Untreated trauma can permanently impact brain chemistry, which can affect an adolescent’s emotional intelligence, happiness, sociability, emotional reactivity, and other domains that are all intimately tied to their mental health, according to Psychology Today.

Trauma-sensitive schools play a vital role in supporting the mental health and well-being of teenagers who have experienced trauma. Penn State University explains that a trauma-sensitive school is “one in which all students feel safe, welcomed, and supported and where addressing trauma’s impact on learning on a school-wide basis is at the center of its educational mission.” The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has pointed out that trauma-sensitive schools promote:

  • Feelings of physical, social, and emotional safety in students.
  • A shared understanding among staff about the impact of trauma and adversity on students.
  • Positive and culturally responsive discipline policies and practices.
  • Access to comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services.
  • Effective community collaboration.

Trauma-sensitive schools educate staff, teachers, and students about the effects of trauma on mental health. They incorporate trauma-informed practices (e.g., restorative justice, mindfulness, etc.) to address the unique needs of traumatized students. Trauma-sensitive approaches ensure that school policies, interactions, and environments do not inadvertently trigger trauma responses. Avoiding re-traumatization is vital for maintaining a teen’s mental health. Trauma-sensitive schools often include families in the recovery process. Working together with parents and other caregivers guarantees that the teen receives help outside of the classroom, forming a full network of care. Trauma-sensitive schools foster a healing, educational, and productive atmosphere for youth. These educational institutions play an integral role in enhancing the mental health and general well-being of adolescents who have experienced trauma by recognizing the effects of trauma and putting supportive procedures into place.

For Information and Support 

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.

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