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Engaging Children and Adolescents in Trauma-Informed Telehealth

“Without some degree of regulation, it is difficult to connect with another person, and without connection, there is minimal reasoning. Regulate, relate, then reason.”

-(Perry & Winfrey, 2021; What Happened to You?)

One of the principles of a Trauma-Informed System (TIS) is Understanding Stress and Trauma (see here for a list of TIS principles). As clinicians, when we can understand the trauma and stress of our child and adolescent clients,  we are more likely to act compassionately and take well-informed steps toward promoting our clients’ wellness. Our children and youth are more stressed than ever in the context of increases in certain mental health symptoms, including depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation; and increased psychological distress as a long-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis (see the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory here and the most recent CDC Youth report here).

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Detecting Suicide Risk in Healthcare Settings:

How Clinicians Can Help Save Lives

Effective suicide prevention depends on early detection so that individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts or struggles can be connected to help as soon as possible. Healthcare settings serve as a perfect opportunity to spot individuals in distress since up to 45% of people who die by suicide visit their primary care physician in the month prior to their death and 39% make an emergency department visit in the year prior to their death. Fortunately, evidence-based tools exist to identify patients who may be at risk and steps can be taken to reduce suicide mortality. All healthcare providers can play a role in preventing this leading cause of death.

man sitting at desk  in video meeting with four other people

Online Family Recovery for Families of Residential Treatment Program Residents

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, behavioral health services on-line has become a new normal of consumer expectation: clients want effective treatment in-person and on-line. To offer effective behavioral health services on-line, clinicians stay mindful of nonverbal and verbal communication, remain flexible, and adjust curriculum and process as needed.

When patients are admitted to residential care facilities for mental health or addiction issues, it is often expected that family members are part of the recovery team. Most family members do the best they can, and they often need guidance and structure to help them navigate recovery from their loved one’s illness and manage the stress and fears that come up as their loved ones approach discharge. Sierra Tucson Addiction Treatment Center is a leader in recovery from behavioral and mental illness and addiction and is committed to offering support to families of loved ones who are in treatment.

Telepsychiatry in Rural India

We've invited D. Kotteswara Rao, the Assistant Director of SCARF India, the Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF India), a mental health center and nonprofit organization. Mr. Rao shares his experiences with telepsychiatry in rural India.

SCARF India has worked in the mental health field since 1984, when it was started by Dr. Sarada Menon, the first woman psychiatrist in India, who recently passed away at age 99. The organization focuses on awareness, treatment, and rehabilitation for behavioral health of all ages- from youth to older adults. The organization has many focus areas including research, education, and treatment. When SCARF first started nearly 40 years ago, they worked with schizophrenia because it is such a challenging condition that makes it very hard for people to live in the community and receive help. As their work progressed, the program developed additional programs to assist with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. They work toward dispelling the stigmas around mental health conditions by focusing on psychoeducation and awareness.

Adult ADHD

We've invited Duane Gordon from the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) to discuss Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults. He has worked within the ADHD community for over two decades and is the association's president. Established in 1988, ADDA currently has over 5,000 members from all over the world. Their mission is to provide education and resources for adults diagnosed with ADHD, filling the gap in need as so many services for ADHD focus on children with this diagnosis.

Addressing Health and Well-Being Needs in Ghana

We've invited Kanton Salifu Issifu, the executive director of the Community Development Alliance in Ghana, to share his insights and experiences with addressing healthcare and wellness needs in Ghana.

First, Mr. Issifu shares that Ghana is one of the most stable countries in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Unlike nearby Mali and Burkina Faso, Ghana has remained stable with a democratic government and a peaceful environment. However, despite this stability, Mr. Issifu notes how Ghana struggles with implementing healthcare needs across the region, which is where The Community Development Alliance (CDA) steps in to fill in those gaps. CDA is an independent, not-for-profit community organization that addresses the need for supplies and services across the region, particularly in poorer communities. CDA also examines the barriers to positive healthcare outcomes and strategically collaborates with both organizations and communities to ensure both buy-in and success of their strategic efforts.

The Use of Telehealth with Human Trafficking Clinical Care and Research

We've invited Dr. Mollie Gordon, Associate Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, to share her insights on clinical care approaches for people who have been victims of human trafficking and how telehealth services can improve both training and access to such services.

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