It was 1988 when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May as National Trauma Awareness month. The proclamation was focused on traumatic injury. Since the proclamation, we’ve learned more about the tragic effects of psychological trauma. We’ve learned that psychological trauma is harder to see and sometimes harder to heal from.
Our work with trauma started when Terri would support children in the pediatric intensive care unit both as a nurse and as an advanced practice nurse. Out of her experiences with physical trauma and the awareness of the need for parents and children to connect, we created our child safety cards. At Kin2Kid.com, you can find out more about these cards, which have child-drawn artwork and safety sayings based on CDC vital statistics about child injuries and guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations.
In 2019, we published the book, Extinguish Burnout: A Practical Guide to Prevention and Recovery, as we recognized the powerful pain that people experience as a part of the hurts in their lives, including burnout. Since then, we’ve been sharing solutions to vexing problems of mental health. We’ve seen how medicine sometimes retraumatizes patients, and we are developing programs to help providers at all levels of the healthcare system to understand and respond to trauma in positive, helpful ways.
We also know that vicarious trauma is real. Providers and first responders are themselves struggling to cope with what they’ve seen as they come face-to-face with the worst that humanity has to offer. We’re developing programs to help here, too. We want to provide the best support possible for those who are doing their most to lift humanity up in the darkest moments.
As with our other programs, we start with research – for this program, it means reading what is known about psychological trauma. In honor of trauma month, we’re posting three weeks full of weekday book reviews. We begin next week with supporting materials that provide context for understanding psychological trauma. We speak of perfectionism, apologies, and altruism, so we can speak about their roles in trauma and trauma recovery.
Every day in the following two weeks – the start of May – we’ll be posting trauma-related book reviews along with book reviews that support a deeper understanding of trauma. In total, we’ll have 15 book reviews supporting the first block of our trauma work.
We invite you to think about trauma not just from the physical impact point of view but also from the perspective of psychological trauma and how we can help people heal from it in the month of May.