When exposed to a traumatic event, children as young as 18 months can have serious emotional and behavioral problems later in childhood and in adulthood. More than 35 percent of children exposed to a single traumatic event will develop serious mental health problems.
So, how are the children who lived through 9/11 doing nearly a decade later, or the children who lived through Hurricane Katrina nearly six years ago? What about the children in Afghanistan and Iraq who have undergone multiple traumatic events over the last decade, and who are now coming of fighting age? If the above statistics hold true, then maybe addressing and trying to treat PTSD within the populations of war-torn countries is another way we could help stabilize those areas.
How can national and international health communication efforts help prevent the serious adult mental illnesses that arise from childhood trouble? SAMHSA notes that there are effective strategies for aiding children who have experienced trauma, such as being around resilient parents or other adults, maintaining social connections and teaching social and emotional competence to children.