Trauma and Mental Health Treatment​​​

Trauma is often defined as a disturbing or distressing event; however it is more

accurately characterized as the emotional response to these events that an individual experiences 

during, following, and even long after the experience has transpired.  Events such as abuse, 

divorce, neglect, death, violence, or accidents often cause trauma.  Recent studies have indicated 

60% of adults report experiencing abuse or other difficult family circumstances during childhood 

(SAMHSA, 2011).  Compelling evidence has shown that traumatic exposure early in life is 

linked to physical, emotional, and mental health challenges in adulthood.  These experiences can 

create an intergenerational cycle when individuals, who have not processed their own emotions, 

bring their experiences into their own families (Horton, 2003).  Scholars have suggested the need 

to create trauma-informed systems because if trauma goes untreated it can be very costly for the 

individuals involved and society in general (Carrion, 2011).  The purpose 

of this conference is to not only shed light on this topic, but to provide an understanding of how 

to care for, and meet the needs of those who deal with trauma.​