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Mental health programme helpful for kids

Children depression anxiety stress mental health trauma violence political armed communities

Mental health programme helpful for kids

School-based mental health programme for children exposed to armed political conflicts helps reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and helps maintaining hope. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a violent or otherwise terrifying event, one that is life threatening to the individual or their close associates. Flashbacks and recurrent dreams about the event are common symptoms. The study was done to determine the efficacy of mental health interventions for children exposed to armed political conflicts in the low and middle-income settings. Researchers from America selected 495 ten years old children who were attending randomly selected schools in political violence-affected communities. They all had experienced trauma more than once in their life. The school-based programme involved 15 sessions of trauma processing activities, cooperative play and creative expressive element. The participants were followed-up for 6 months. The researchers observed improvement in the PTSD symptoms of the participants. In addition, involvement in the programme helped the children in maintaining hope. Girls seemed to benefit more from the programme in comparison to boys. The researchers reported that school-based intervention reduced post-traumatic stress disorders in children in violence-affected communities and helped them maintain hope. However, it did not reduce the traumatic-stress related, depressive, and anxiety symptoms or functional impairment in these children.
Journal of the American Medical Association
August 2008
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