Trauma and Stress

When you feel better, you do better!

Children are exposed to stress constantly, whether it’s at home or at school. This stress can come different sources, such as from school, themselves, or from the peers and adults in their lives. All children respond to stress differently depending on previous trauma, social-emotional support, and genetic predisposition. Children need to experience emotional stress to develop healthy coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills. There are three types of emotional stress: positive, tolerable, and toxic. Positive stress helps guide growth. Tolerable stress is not necessarily helpful, but it should not cause permanent damage to the child. Toxic stress is sufficient to overcome a child’s undeveloped coping mechanisms and lead to long-term impairment and illness. When children are exposed to toxic stress caused from trauma, the effects many not be immediately visible or apparent to a specialist. Neglect and psychological maltreatment can be traumatic and stressful. This trauma and stress will impact a child’s future, all the way into adulthood, if the issue is not addressed. Research shows that 50-70% of adults have experienced one traumatic event in their life. Untreated trauma can lead to PTSD, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and many other disorders. This is why it is critical to have counselors and psychologists within school systems to not only support the students, but to also support the teachers and staff of the school. When students feel better, they do better. When teachers feel better, they do better as well!