Pharmacy Residency (PGY1)

Trauma Survivors

Trauma Psychosocial Team
Jessica George, PhD—Director of Psychosocial Services
Ashley Simpson, CLS—Trauma Survivors Network Coordinator
Contact:
traumasurvivors@phhs.org

Trauma Psychosocial Services
The Trauma Psychosocial Team at the Rees-Jones Trauma Center at Parkland provides psychological and emotional support to trauma patients who are admitted to the hospital, as well as their families.  A psychosocial screening is completed for all patients to define coping needs and opportunities for referrals.  Outpatient and telehealth services are also provided on a limited basis. 

Outpatient Counseling Services
Outpatient counseling services are available to patients who have experienced a traumatic injury and have been treated at Parkland. Counseling sessions are a nonjudgmental space (virtual or in-person) to heal from the adjustment to trauma. The outpatient counselor is trained and certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a type of counseling that helps people with traumatic memories and problems with relationships, daily tasks, work/school, and/or physical recovery. For more information on EMDR, see https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/. If you or your loved one are interested in outpatient trauma counseling, please email traumacounseling@phhs.org.

Posttraumatic Stress and PTSD
After a traumatic event, many people experience a wide range of emotions and thoughts.  These can include difficult experiences, such as shock, sadness, anxiety, irritability, and guilt, and positive experiences, such as gratitude, love, or calm.  Some people may feel a stronger connection to their loved ones and have a better outlook on life, while others may feel depressed, on edge, and have difficulties sleeping.  Everyone is different in their reactions to trauma, and in the first few weeks most reactions are considered normal. 

If you continue to have multiple difficulties after trauma that last more than one month and interfere in your ability to recover, you may have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health problems, like depression.  There are effective treatments available for these mental health issues.  PTSD can occur in people who experience traumatic events, including witnessing another person experiencing trauma.  Over 8 million American adults are affected by PTSD from various traumas, so if you are experiencing these symptoms you are not alone.  Click here for more information about PTSD.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Screen (click here) 
If you answered yes to 3 of the 5 questions on the screen, you may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD.  Please refer to resources below to seek additional assessment and treatment from a trained mental health professional that is knowledgeable about trauma.  See resources tab for more information.

Coping Tips
The emotional recovery from trauma can be a long-term process.  In addition to professional treatment, several self-care activities can help promote recovery.  Try several of the following coping tips to find out which help you feel better and incorporate them into your life.
 

  • Connect with friends and family. It’s easy to feel alone when you’ve been through a trauma and are not feeling well. But becoming isolated can make you feel worse.  You can get support you need by talking to friends and family. Studies show that having meaningful connections with others in your life can have a positive impact on your health and recovery.
  • Relax. Each person has different activities that help them relax and cope with stress. They may include listening to music, watching television, playing games, reading a book, or taking a walk outside. You can also relax with deep breathing, yoga, meditation or massage therapy.  Avoid using drugs, alcohol or smoking to relax. Do things that you enjoy.
  • Exercise. Exercise can relieve tense muscles, improve your mood and sleep, and boost your energy and strength. Exercise can also help with symptoms of anxiety and depression.  Exercise with medical approval.
  • Get enough rest. Getting enough sleep helps you cope with your problems better, lowers your risk for illness, and helps you recover from the daily stress. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
  • Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts can be a great way to work through issues. Researchers have found that writing about painful events can reduce stress and improve health.
  • Refrain from taking drugs and alcohol. Although using drugs and alcohol may seem to help you cope, they can make your symptoms worse, delay your treatment and recovery, and cause abuse or addiction problems.
  • Limit caffeine. Caffeine can often trigger anxiety and may also disturb your sleep.
  • Limit some media. If watching the news or other programs makes you feel worse, limit the amount of time you watch. Limiting social media can also lead to improvements in well-being.  Try not to listen to or read disturbing news before going to sleep. It might disrupt your sleep. 
  • Maintain a routine. Establish a regular schedule for eating, sleeping, and other daily activities.
  • Slow down.  During and right after a trauma, avoid making major life changes or decisions.  Take long, slow deep breaths.  Be patient with recovery because it takes time.  It is a process.

Local Resources
Click here for information on local resources for mental health, substance use, and crisis intervention.

Trauma Survivors Network
The Rees-Jones Trauma Center at Parkland is a member of the American Trauma Society’s Trauma Survivor Network (TSN)You can visit our TSN trauma center page here.  On May 29, 2019, we held our first Trauma Survivor Day Celebration, with hopes to continue to expand our services and resources for Parkland Trauma Survivors, including peer support and survivor groups. Contact us for more information about our Trauma Survivor Network programs.