Trauma Initiative

The psychological effects of violence and trauma are priority issues for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Psychological trauma refers to clusters of symptoms, adaptations, and reactions that interfere with the daily functioning of an individual who has experienced suffering, neglect, deprivation, physical abuse and injury, sexual abuse and/ exploitation, threatened sense of safety, or who meets the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Psychological trauma affects men, women, and children.

Two key factors that affect an individual’s response to trauma are resiliency and vulnerability. The impact of trauma for vulnerable individuals is linked to such difficulties as mental illness, addiction and abuse, personality disorders, physical illness, suicide, self-injury, aggression towards others, and re-victimization. Many people cannot begin healing from the effects of other disorders until the trauma is addressed. Failure to address trauma-related issues may worsen the symptoms of trauma survivors and may exacerbate their experience of disempowerment and victimization.

More Information about the Trauma Initiative can be found in the documents and links listed below.