Promoting Student Success: How Do We Best Support Child and Youth Survivors of Catastrophic Events?
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Purpose of Review
School mental health services have achieved recognition for increased access to care and intervention completion rates. While best practice recommendations include connection of school mental health programming to multi-tiered systems of support that promote early identification and intervention, many schools struggle to operationalize student screening for trauma exposure, trauma symptoms, and service identification. Relatedly, progress monitoring for trauma symptoms, and the effect of trauma on school functioning in the context of catastrophic events, can also be difficult to systematically collect.
Research regarding the effects of catastrophic events, such as exposure to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war, or the journey to refugee status on children and youths school functioning, indicates salient age and gender differences among student responses. In addition, school professionals have been identified as sources of social support for students and as potential brokers to school linked intervention resources for children, youth, and their families.
Based on our review, we outline recommendations for school professionals, including potential changes to school policies and procedures, and delineate future research questions.
KeywordsSchool mental health Disaster Childhood trauma Multi-tiered systems of support
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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