NRNP 6660: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role I: Child and Adolescent

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                                                NRNP 6660: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Role I: Child and Adolescent

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Impact of Terrorism on Children

It is unfortunate that terrorism is becoming a commonplace in different regions around the world. When these activities happen, the most vulnerable populations such as children become the most affected. In the Middle East, acts of terrorism are rampant. The same applies to different countries within the Latin America. Because of this, many families seek refuge or asylum into the United States. Children and adolescents are mostly seen unaccompanied. Acts of terrorism may also occur in any way within the United States and this is true from history such as 9/11 and the recent mass shootings where children in kindergarten up to high school level have been the targets. There is need to consider ways and approaches of not only assessing these children and adolescents but also finding effective ways of treating them for various psychological issues that arise from these events.

Resulting Psychological Issues

It is important to not that children are vulnerable. As such, they do not need to be directly involved in such events. They can be affected due to simple exposure to news of such events or even news of threats of terrorism which may lead to serious psychological trauma with long-lasting mental health issues (Leiner et al., 2016). Children may suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which according to the DSM-5, occurs after being directly involved in events that are traumatic such as threats of deaths or even witnessing the death of another person (APA, 2013). The chances of suffering from PTSD after being directly exposed to a terrorism event are very high especially in children. After the recent terrorist attacks in France and Europe it was established that various adolescents that were exposed actually suffered from PTSD, calling for a study protocol to evaluate the effects and how to treat the mental health issue (Grenon et al., 2019). Assessing these victims and coming up with the proper mode of treatment is very crucial to improving their quality of life.

Assessment Measure

Various tools can be used including the use of the DSM-5 criteria, the UCLA child/adolescent PTSD Reaction Index for DSM-5 and the Clinicians-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5: Child/Adolescent version. It is clear that these tools are largely based on the DSM-5 criteria. assessment should also involve their parents and guardians who shall assist in providing extra information that the child or adolescent may not be able to.

Treatment Option

Treatment for PTSD in children that are exposed to terrorism may be implemented through various evidence-based strategies including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy as well as Cognitive Behavioral Intervention on Trauma in Schools. This is effective if the trauma was an attack in school like it has been in the recent past (Syros, 2017). There are other empirical approaches to PTSD such as the use of exposure therapy which is known to be very effective in army veterans that have been diagnosed with PTSD. Medications may also be used or a combination of psychotherapy and medications, but the benefits and risks have to be considered and the consent of the guardian should be acquired.

Impact of Culture on Treatment

As it has been noticed, terrorism may lead to families seeking asylum. These may be children from diverse cultures. Language may be a barrier. Religious beliefs may also be a barrier. Understanding these differences in beliefs may be crucial before counselling the child in order to ensure that the child actually benefits from the psychotherapy that is chosen.

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub

Grenon, M., Consigny, M., Lemey, C., Simson, J. P., & Coulon, N. (2019). Impact of a Terrorist Attack on the Mental Health of Directly Exposed French Adolescents: Study Protocol for the First Step of the AVAL (Adolescents Victimes de l’Attentat de Londres) Cohort Study. Frontiers in psychiatry10, 744

Leiner, M., Peinado, J., Villanos, M. T. M., Lopez, I., Uribe, R., & Pathak, I. (2016). Mental and emotional health of children exposed to news media of threats and acts of terrorism: the cumulative and pervasive effects. Frontiers in pediatrics4, 26

Syros, I. (2017). Cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of PTSD. European journal of psychotraumatology8(sup4), 1351219

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