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Childhood trauma linked to higher rates of mental health problems, Stanford/Packard finds
Date:6/8/2011

d experienced trauma, and noting the child's physiological hyperarousability and cognitive difficulties, may diagnose ADHD instead of PTSD. That's a problem because the two disorders have opposite treatments, he said. Kids with PTSD need psychotherapy, not the stimulant medications given for ADHD.

"Children can recover from PTSD with the appropriate treatment, which is one of approach and not avoidance," Carrion said. "By not asking about trauma, we're utilizing avoidance. We're perpetuating PTSD."

As part of their efforts to address the long-term health problems that stem from childhood trauma, Carrion, his collaborators and several San Francisco community partners are working to launch the Center for Youth Wellness, a one-stop health and wellness center for urban children and families in San Francisco. The Center for Youth Wellness will combine pediatrics with mental health services, educational support, family support, research and best practices in child-abuse response under one roof. With both public and private support, the center will coordinate the services of multiple agencies to give children a safe and accessible place to increase their resilience to adverse life experiences and improve their well-being.

The center, which aims to begin operation by mid-2012, is a partnership between California Pacific Medical Center's Bayview Child Health Center, San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, San Francisco District Attorney's Office, Stanford's Early Life Stress Research Program at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Tipping Point Community. Nadine Burke, MD, director of the Bayview center, is also a co-author of the study.

"We need to create trauma-informed systems," Carrion concluded, adding that the Center for Youth Wellness hopes to function as a model for such systems across the nation. People working for the welfare of children need to be on the lookout for trauma and know how to intervene, and how to work with t
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Contact: Erin Digitale
digitale@stanford.edu
650-724-9175
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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