Phila. Forum Highlights Growing Incidence of PTSD in City’s Children

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Post-traumatic stress disorder, “PTSD,” is a malady commonly associated with war veterans.

But children living in Philadelphia’s most violent neighborhoods are showing signs of it, too.

Today, the US attorney in Philadelphia held a forum on the traumatic impact of violence.

Hundreds of professionals in the criminal justice, education, and social services fields attended the gathering, titled “Essentials of Trauma-Informed Care.”

Among the speakers was Dr. Sandra Bloom, co-director of the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice (at right in photo below), part of the school of public health at Drexel University.

 

(Dr. Sandra Bloom, right, chats with an attendee to the conference.  Photo by John McDevitt)

(Dr. Sandra Bloom, right, chats with an attendee to the conference. Photo by John McDevitt)

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Bloom talked about PTSD in children.

“We have lots of children in Philadelphia who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because they have experienced trauma and witnessed other people being killed.  That’s one of the definitions of trauma.  It’s a major public health problem,” she said.

Bloom says the aim of the forum was to give those in attendance a better understanding of trauma, adversity, and stress, and how it affects the brains and bodies of those they work with.

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