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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
July/August 2010, Volume 18, Number 4 

photos of several examples of children’s drawings showing traumatic death experiences

Creating a Trauma Narrative

A trauma narrative is the re-creation or retracing of the child’s actual or imagined experience of the traumatic circumstances of a death as told in their own words, pictures, and even songs.

Developing a trauma narrative is an important component of treatment for traumatic grief. A child experiencing traumatic grief develops the trauma narrative jointly with a therapist through a series of carefully guided questions. The initial trauma narrative may be brief, but it provides anchor points that can be used in discussion to help the child elaborate on the details.

Children with traumatic grief typically avoid reminders of details associated with the death because they cause overwhelming and upsetting thoughts and feelings. By confronting such feelings in a safe and controlled environment, while also using the stress-reducing strategies and coping skills previously learned, children are better able to tolerate trauma-related thoughts and feelings about the death.

By creating the story, the child is carefully exposed to the traumatic elements and gradually becomes able to tolerate the more painful and disturbing aspects of the experience. Sample trauma narratives are included in the Courage to Remember materials.

Visit NCTSN’s Web site for more details.


  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Oil Spill Response

Oil Spill Response

SAMHSA efforts make behavioral health a top priority.



  From the Administrator  
Coping with the Oil Spill

Coping with the Oil Spill

SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., talks about participating in public forums in the Gulf states. Read more.

What’s in a Term:  Latest Responses

What’s in a Term: Latest Responses

SAMHSA has received more than 250 emails in response to the Administrator’s call for comments. Read selected responses.


  Recovery Month  
Ready for Recovery Month?

Ready for Recovery Month?

September is here! Visit RecoveryMonth.gov for details on the biggest celebration yet!



  Multicultural Outreach & Data  
Campaigns Focus on Three Populations

Campaigns Focus on Three Populations

For Chinese, Hispanic, and Native young adults, new public service campaigns focus on mental health.


  Trauma  
Responding to Child Traumatic Grief

Responding to Child Traumatic Grief

When children lose loved ones, what happens then? Also read about creating a trauma narrative.

Policy Academy Promotes Behavioral Health for Service Members

Policy Academy Promotes Behavioral Health

SAMHSA recently convened a Policy Academy to help soldiers as they return from the battlefield.


  Trends  
Dramatic Rise in Abuse of Pain Relievers

Dramatic Rise in Abuse of Pain Relievers

More treatment admissions report abuse of pain relievers.

Admission Patterns over a Decade

Admission Patterns over a Decade

Marked changes have occurred in admissions for substance abuse treatment in the past 10 years.


  Statistics  
In the ER:  Reports on Suicide Attempts

In the ER: Reports on Suicide Attempts

What substances showed up in emergency rooms related to suicide attempts by adolescents and young adults?

States Report on Substance Use, Mental Health

States Report on Substance Use, Mental Health

State-level analyses update data on alcohol abuse, cocaine, pain relievers, and more.


  Women & Substance Abuse  
New Data on  Women Who Work Full Time

New Data on Women Who Work Full Time

How does employment affect women’s substance abuse and treatment?


  Suicide Prevention  
Remember the Lifeline!

Remember the Lifeline!

Feeling desperate, alone, or hopeless? Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


  Medicaid  
Medicaid Eligibility & Mental Illness

Medicaid Eligibility & Mental Illness

Read about a program that helped increase Medicaid enrollment by 17 percent.


  Other News  
Treatment Directory Available

Treatment Directory Available

National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs 2010 is now available.

Entertainment Industry Meets with Treatment Experts

SAMHSA’s Dr. H. Westley Clark participated in an expert panel to discuss accurate depictions of substance abuse in entertainment.



  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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