PTSD: It’s not just veterans

A condition often connected to war veterans, PTSD, can develop in anyone, at any age or in any life situation. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Some factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

Personal factors—like previous traumatic exposure, age and gender—can affect whether a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.”

It’s a sad truth that many of the children and youth in the child welfare system exhibit at least some form of PTSD due to traumatic events in their life. That’s why observances like National PTSD Awareness Month matter – because they help raise awareness about mental health challenges and ensure that those who need help get help.

How can we tell if a child might have PTSD? Again, from the VA:

  • Children younger than 6 years old may get upset if their parents are not close by, have trouble sleeping, or act out the trauma in their play.
  • Children ages 7 to 11 may also act out the trauma through play, drawings or stories. Some have nightmares or become more irritable or aggressive. They may also want to avoid school or have trouble with schoolwork or friends.
  • Children ages 12 to 18 have symptoms more similar to adults: depression, anxiety, withdrawal, or reckless behavior like substance abuse or running away.

Fortunately, help is available. Geared towards enabling clients to reclaim their lives and foster healing within their families, Saint Francis Ministries’ behavioral health programs are specifically designed to address the diverse needs of both adults and adolescents. Our residential programs offer nurturing havens where young people struggling with mental health and behavioral issues can receive comprehensive, compassionate care.

Is there room in your life to support Saint Francis Ministries in our work to help children and families heal?

Picture of Shane Schneider
Shane Schneider

Shane is the Editorial Content Manager for the Marketing and Communications Department at Saint Francis Ministries.

Share this article:

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up to receive regular updates about Saint Francis Ministries.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Articles

Skip to content